The biggest issue the Detroit Pistons have unloading Griffin is the colossal ball and chain that is his massive contract. Finding a franchise willing to pick up the $36.6 million he’s owed for the rest of this season, and the $39 million he’s due for next season makes the 31-year-old a tough sell.
However, Howard Beck told Chris Mannix, co-hosts of The Crossover podcast, that Griffin’s buyout is imminent:
It’ll be a buyout. This is a given. It’ll be a buyout at some point. When they get to that stage, and he’s a free agent, he’s still a guy who is a really smart player, who has become a really great playmaker late in his career, a great passer out of the post and on the perimeter, who can still get by some guys, can knock down a jumper and has a little bit of range. So I think he can be a useful player—a rotation guy. But not a starter on a good team, likely a bench guy. And we can talk about possible destinations, but I think there are a few times that could use him.
The Heat would not be willing to empty their wallets to obtain a veteran player who’s not playing anywhere near his peak. But if they can get him cheap, Griffin becomes a way more appealing option.
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It’s no secret that Miami is in desperate need of a power forward to help propel them toward a successful postseason run. So, if the Heat don’t have to give up any substantial talent, and if Detroit does end up buying Griffin out, a deal could be imminent.
Griffin Is Sitting out Until a Buyout or Trade Happens
On February 15, the six-time All-Star confirmed that he has played his last game in a Pistons jersey and that he’ll be sitting out until he is traded or Detroit buys him out.
The former Rookie of the Year told ESPN, “I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to accomplish in my career and for working together on the best path forward.”
Pistons general manager Troy Weaver confirmed Griffin will remain out of the lineup until a resolution is determined.
“After extensive conversation with Blake’s representatives, it has been determined that we will begin working to facilitate a resolution regarding his future with the team that maximizes the interests of both parties,” Weaver said on February 15, via ESPN. “We respect all the effort Blake has put forth in Detroit and his career and will work to achieve a positive outcome for all involved.”
Griffin’s agent, Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports, will be heavily involved in figuring out what’s best for his client, and because of the power forward’s age, it’s likely he’ll be looking to link Griffin with a contending team, which is how and why Miami factors in as a fitting destination.
The Pistons are looking to finalize the situation with Griffin by the March 25 trade deadline.
Heat Have Been Linked to 10 Free Agent Options
Name an available forward becoming available, and there’s likely a report linking them to the Heat. The franchise is trying to avoid the embarrassment of coming off an NBA Finals run only to miss out on the playoffs entirely the following season.
The Heat are not all-in on Griffin, and have their eyes on more than a few players around the league. Big names tossed around thus far include:
- Houston Rockets’ DeMarcus Cousins, P.J. Tucker and Victor Oladipo
- Sacramento Kings’ Nemanja Bjelica
- San Antonio Spurs’ Rudy Gay
- Cleveland Cavaliers’ Andre Drummond
- Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry
- New Orleans Pelicans’ Lonzo Ball
- Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins
- Chicago Bulls’ Thaddeus Young