The Miami Heat have been linked to numerous free agents over the past month, however, reports of one possible trade deal involving Detroit Pistons’ Blake Griffin keeps popping up. On February 22, Bleacher Report previewed what that exchange would possibly look like.
In order to obtain the 31-year-old veteran, the outlet predicts that the Heat would give up Andre Igoudala, Kelly Olynyk, Meyers Leonard, and a 2022 second-round draft pick via either the Philadelphia 76ers or Denver Nuggets.
As for Detroit, they would not only send over Griffin, but also 33-year-old shooting guard Wayne Ellington, Bleacher Report predicts. Overall, this doesn’t sound like a great trade for the Heat, and that’s an understatement. Nor does it sound anything like the earlier and way more appealing reports which had the Pistons sweetening unloading Griffin by including a first-round draft pick.
In Bleacher Report’s scenario, there’s little upside for the Heat, who need to make a deal to gain draft picks, not give them up. Miami doesn’t have an available first-round pick until 2025.
Griffin Is Sitting Out Until a Buyout or Trade Deal 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. Weaver told ESPN, “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. 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 the Miami Heat factor in as a fitting destination.
Goldfeder’s toughest job will be 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. Will the Heat be willing to empty their wallets to obtain a veteran player who’s not playing anywhere near his peak?
Blake Griffin has 36/31/71 splits
Ridiculously low FT rate.
And the deeper metrics are worse.
— Five Reasons Sports Network (@5ReasonsSports) February 15, 2021
Since the Pistons are looking to finalize the situation with Griffin by the March 25 trade deadline, and Miami desperately needs a power forward to help turn their season around, this could be a match made in heaven. If the Heat don’t have to give up any substantial talent, and if maybe Detroit offers to cover Griffin’s salary for the remainder of this season, a deal could be imminent.
The Heat Have Been Linked to 7 Other 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 that is coming off an NBA Finals run only and to miss out on the playoffs entirely the following season.
The Heat missed out on obtaining James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and while it was blow to hear Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal say he wants to remain in Washington, Miami still have their eyes on more than a few players around the league.
Aside from Griffin, big names tossed around thus far include the following players:
Sacramento Kings Nemanja Bjelica
San Antonio Spurs Rudy Gay
Cleveland Cavaliers Andre Drummond
Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry
Toronto Raptors Lonzo Ball