Nets Star’s Workout With 9-Time All-Star Stirs Speculation

Getty Images Blake Griffin of the Brooklyn Nets congratulates Kyrie Irving.

Brooklyn Nets six-time All-Star Blake Griffin is still a free agent. Though the franchise has not announced they are moving on from Griffin after spending the last two seasons with the Nets, it became evident way before they got eliminated from the playoffs. Per “Basketball-Reference”, Griffin played a career-low 17.1 minutes per game during the 2021-22 season. It is the first time in his career that he has averaged less than 20 minutes per game in a season.

While Griffin may not be of service to the Nets anymore, as a gritty, wily veteran, the 33-year-old could be helpful to several teams, especially those looking to compete for a championship. The Los Angeles Lakers would fall under that category.

After a 2022 season where they missed the playoffs, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka looked to bolster their roster this offseason with names such as Kyrie Irving, Buddy Hield, and Myles Turner. But they fell short as the only move they made was a trade for Patrick Beverley.

Lakers star Russell Westbrook was recently seen working out with Griffin, stirring speculation that Los Angeles could target him as a free agent signing for the veteran’s minimum.

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Griffin’s Effort in Celtics Series Impressed League Execs

NBA players working out together during the offseason has become a norm, so the two All-Stars doing offseason work together may be much to do about nothing. But if the Lakers are looking to make a key free agent signing, Griffin might be their answer.

Griffin didn’t play much last season or in the playoffs, but in the limited minutes he did receive from Nets head coach Steve Nash he made the most out of it. Every time he stepped on the floor for Brooklyn, he would make effort plays that would give an often-deflated Nets team the shot in the arm they needed to compete harder.

One league executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney before the start of NBA free agency that Griffin’s limited minutes in the Nets’ first round loss to the Celtics made a big impression around the NBA.

“The thing about Blake is, it is obvious he can’t do much of what he used to do, even when he was in Detroit,” the executive said.

“But he made a big, big impression around the league with the way he played against Boston, even though it was just a couple of games. But he was flying around, throwing his body around, taking charges, hitting the floor.

He had a care factor that was off the charts, and a lot of teams took notice. This is an All-Star and a former MVP candidate, and he is sacrificing himself. As your 10th man on a minimum deal, you take that. It raises everyone’s level.”

Griffin Can Still Make Impact as Role Player

Griffin is no longer the high-flying athlete he was when he first entered the league. But the former lottery pick gives you all the intangibles of a elite role player. Diving on the floor for loose balls, setting hard screens, taking charges, and all the other undesirable dirty work. The type of effort plays that make the difference in whether a team wins a championship.

As he showed in his limited minutes against the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, Griffin still has enough left in the tank to be serviceable to a contending team.

Him getting buried on the bench by Nash this season was a head-scratcher for many Nets fans. Most believe he could have been effective if he had a consistent spot in the rotation. Wherever Griffin lands next year, he will likely make an impact.

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