The trade deadline this year will probably be pretty uneventful for the Los Angeles Lakers despite the litany of rumors. The team doesn’t have a lot of tradeable assets and almost no money to spend. A big trade seems unlikely but that doesn’t mean the Lakers won’t make a move or two.
One name to keep an eye on is Detroit Pistons star Blake Griffin. The Lakers were speculated as a possible fit for the six-time All-Star in the past but now they have reported interest. According to Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, Los Angeles is “monitoring” the situation involving Griffin.
Griffin made his bones in Los Angeles when he was with the Clippers. His star has fallen quite a bit over the last couple of years. He averaged a career-low 15.5 points a game last season. He could set an even lower career-low this season if he continues to average 12.3 points a game. Griffin used to be one of the league’s biggest stars but has been in a steady decline.
UPDATE: According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Griffin has officially agreed to a contract buyout with the Pistons.
Also, Marc Stein has also confirmed the Lakers have an interest in Griffin.
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How Much Does Griffin Have Left in the Tank?
It’s easy to look at Griffin and get flashbacks to “Lob City.” He was truly one of the most electrifying players in the NBA for several years. However, those days are long gone. Based on how the last two seasons have gone, it’s reasonable to suggest that Griffin is past his prime.
That said, he’s still just 31-years-old and was an All-Star in 2019. Perhaps playing for a weak Pistons team has gotten the best of him. The Lakers would likely be an amazing landing spot for him to reboot his career. LeBron James is one of the best teammates in the business. It’s easy to see Griffin and LeBron have a quick rapport with each other. If he came back to Los Angeles, he wouldn’t need to be a star. It would almost be like how Dwight Howard went back to the team last season and accepted a role coming off the bench. He ended getting a title in the process. Griffin could want to come ring chase with the Lakers for one season and then get a bigger payday in the offseason.
Do Lakers Really Need Griffin?
While the idea of adding Griffin does bring a level of excitement, the Lakers don’t really need him. Anthony Davis’ leg didn’t fall off. He should be back with plenty of time to spare before the playoffs. The Lakers were already having a hard time giving enough playing time to their current forwards when he was healthy. Adding a player like Griffin might upset Markieff Morris and Kyle Kuzma.
Once Davis returns, the Lakers really wouldn’t have much of a need for the former All-Star. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with having too much talent but the team has other needs. It would be much wiser for them to find more 3-point shooting or another backup center.