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Blake Griffin is available via trade to any contending team that needs a scoring punch.
The Detroit Pistons are in full rebuild mode, and Griffin doesn’t fit that description. At 31 years old and hardly the player he once was, Griffin has rebuilt his game to resemble a point-forward type, testing his range in the last year-plus with the Pistons.
Griffin’s numbers have steadily decreased along with his availability, to the point he’s an actual detriment to Detroit’s youth movement when on the floor. Griffin is blocking the likes of Saddiq Bey, Sekou Doumbouya and even Isaiah Stewart from getting the reps they need, and Dwane Casey’s tendency to lean into his reliable veteran isn’t what this team needs right now.
With that in mind, the Pistons likely won’t be able to trade Griffin. He’s being paid like a star, despite failing to live up to that standard. Griffin’s due a remaining $36.5 million this season and has a $39 million option for 2021-22. Very few teams can handle that kind of a cap hit, and none would want to give up an asset for Griffin.
It’s unknown exactly how the Pistons will waive Griffin — whether it be by stretching his contract a la Josh Smith, or biting the bullet and paying him his worth upon an exit from the Motor City — but he’s played his last game in their uniform.
The question remains, though: If he’s bought out, which contenders would take a chance on Griffin without the lofty price tag attached?
These five contenders should add Blake Griffin
5. LA Clippers
Could a return to his old stomping grounds be in store for one of the kings of Lob City? Griffin made five straight All-Star teams from ages 21-25 as a member of that high-flying group that never quite reached the promise of an NBA title. Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Griffin were on highlight reels every night, frequenting the SportsCenter Top 10 early and often. These were simpler times.
Griffin hasn’t dunked in an NBA game since 2019, so that player is extinct. However, a return to the LA Clippers could be in store for a West Coast kid. The Clippers need a scoring punch, either from the bench or the 4-spot alongside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Losing Montrezl Harrell has hurt the Clippers more than they’d like to admit, and signing Griffin to a modest deal could add to an already deep bench unit that includes Lou Williams and Marcus Morris.
Not only does Griffin have familiarity with LA, but the Clippers also have Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard in the reserve unit, paving the way for a Detroit reunion of sorts for Griffin. Even if the Clippers wish to start Griffin, thus pushing Nicolas Batum to the bench, Tyronn Lue’s club will have the necessary depth to contend with the Los Angeles Lakers this postseason.