James Harden Sends Strong Message About Nets’ Blake Griffin Deal

Kyrie Irving James Harden

Getty Brooklyn guards Kyrie Irving and James Harden while playing the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on February 09, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan.

After reaching a buyout with the Detroit Pistons on Friday, former No. 1 overall pick Blake Griffin’s time on the free agent market did not last long.

Once Griffin is free to sign with any team of his choosing at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, the Brooklyn Nets are expected to sign the six-time All-Star, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

UPDATE:On Monday, Charania confirmed that Griffin has officially joined the Nets, having agreed to a deal on Sunday, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

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Harden Sounds off Following Griffin Signing Rumors

Before the news came down that Griffin had signed with Brooklyn, 2021 All-Star James Harden sounded off on what signing another major talent would mean for the Nets. He was not able to comment on Griffin directly, but he let it be known how “exciting” Griffin is.

“We haven’t made that move yet, we haven’t acquired anybody yet, so I can answer that later if it happens, but we all know how exciting Blake Griffin is and the player he is,” Harden said, via Yahoo Sports.

Speaking to the media after the All-Star Game on Sunday (while the signing was still not official), Harden said, “I’m sure he wants to win. If he passed up more money to obviously stay in Detroit, he wants to win, and he wants to have an opportunity to play meaningful minutes. I’m assuming that’s one of the reasons why he came.”

“Obviously, we know the athletic and high-jumping Blake, but I think as of these last couple years, he’s knocking down the 3-ball a little bit better, ball-handling is a lot better, and he can be a great contribution to this team,” Harden continued, via The New York Daily News. “So, if your sources are correct, then we’d be more than welcome and excited to have him on our Brooklyn Nets team.”

Blake Griffin News Sends Twitter Into Oblivion

After NBA Twitter caught wind of Griffin’s intention to sign with the Nets, fans went into an uproar with a wide variety of opinions:

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Griffin to Nets Means a ‘Lob City’ Reunion

Griffin should fit in perfectly when he arrives in Brooklyn as he will be greeted by his former Los Angeles Clippers teammate DeAndre Jordan. Griffin and Jordan played a huge part in the resurgence of the Clippers organization as they were apart of the “Lob City” trio which also featured future Hall of Famer Chris Paul.

Griffin, Jordan, and Paul were the presumed favorites to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals in 2015. Unfortunately, Lob City’s championship run was cut short after blowing a 3-1 lead to Harden and the Rockets in the Western Conference Semifinals. Golden State would go on to win the championship that year which marked the birth of the Warriors dynasty.

Coach Steve Nash Has Rotation Decisions to Make

On the season, Griffin is averaging a career-low 12.3 points to go along with 5.2 total rebounds and 3.9 assists in 31.3 minutes per game. While adding a superstar to an NBA roster midseason may seem like an easy transition, it is not. Now it will be up to head coach Steve Nash to decide what Brooklyn’s rotation will look like moving forward.

Do you keep Jordan in the starting lineup now that you will have plenty of size between Griffin and Kevin Durant? What happens with Bruce Brown who has been playing like a stud as of late? What about Joe Harris? He is a marksman but will his touches decline with Griffin, KD, Irving and Harden on board?

These are all decisions that Nash will be faced with after the All-Star break.

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One player who seemingly doesn’t have a problem sacrificing is Harden. “The Beard” came to the Nets with one goal in mind and that was to capture his first NBA title, even if it meant not playing his usual style of basketball.

“Obviously, I could be more aggressive offensively, but we have more than enough scorers and guys that can put the ball in the basket,” Harden told reporters last month, via CBS Sports. “Just got to pick and choose my spots, which I feel like I’m doing OK. But facilitating, getting guys shots, getting our bigs finishing at the rim, and just trying to be solid defensively is what I’m trying to do.”

The Nets will open the second half of their season when they play the Boston Celtics on Thursday, March 11.

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