Warriors

Why Griffin would be tricky fit for Warriors this season

Warriors

Blake Griffin reportedly has been bought out of his contract with the Detroit Pistons, and multiple reports indicate the Warriors are among the teams interested in signing the veteran forward.

But should the Warriors be pursuing the soon-to-be 32-year-old Griffin when he officially becomes available as a free agent?

The short answer is no, for several reasons.

For one, Griffin looked like a shell of his former self in the 20 games he has played in for the Pistons this season, and has been out of the lineup since Feb. 15 as Detroit looked for a potential trade partner.

An average of 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per game doesn't exactly scream high-value addition. The former high-flyer also hasn't been that same player we once saw leaping over sedans, as he hasn't dunked in an NBA game since December of 2019.

Now in his 12th NBA season, Griffin also likely would prefer to play for a title contender after failing to reach the conference finals throughout his career with the Los Angeles Clippers and Detroit.

As much as Warriors fans might like to imagine themselves still among the top contenders in the West, the reality is that Golden State is ninth in the Western Conference standings going into the All-Star break, just barely within the margin for being in one of the play-in series for a playoff spot.

Teams like the Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets all would offer Griffin a much higher chance of winning a championship this season.

 

As far as the financials go, the Warriors would be able to offer Griffin more through the designated player exception (DPE) than those other teams mentioned as being interested in bringing him in, as HoopsHype's Yossi Gozlan pointed out on Friday morning.

That DPE for the Warriors is courtesy of Klay Thompson's season-ending Achilles injury.

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However, Griffin has made north of $200 million in salary over his NBA career, and it's hard to imagine that money will be his primary motivation in choosing a new team.

When looking at his fit with the Warriors this season, it would be tricky to say the least.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday that rookie center James Wiseman will be getting more minutes after the All-Star break, but the team hasn't gotten much from the frontcourt so far this season.

Draymond Green has been forced to play a lot of minutes at center due to injuries in February, while also becoming the primary distributor in the Warriors' offense.

Griffin could slide in and get a multitude of time at power forward alongside Wiseman, but an undersized forward with significantly less athleticism than we've seen earlier in his career wouldn't do much to benefit the Warriors' offense.

It would make more sense for the Warriors to bring in a consistent scorer on the wing or in the backcourt, as the Warriors haven't had much playmaking of any kind outside of Steph Curry and Green.

Griffin could be a good veteran to work with Wiseman, but the rookie already is getting daily instruction from Green on the finer points of NBA defense and working within Kerr's scheme.

Bringing in a brand name like Griffin sounds great in theory, but ultimately won't move the needle much as far as winning basketball games goes for the Warriors.

Perhaps he'll be more motivated by a change in scenery a la James Harden in Brooklyn, but Warriors owner Joe Lacob likely won't be interested in ponying up a significant increase to the luxury tax bill just to bring Griffin into the fold on the hope that he'll be a better player in a Warriors uniform.

The days of Griffin headling "Lob City" are long gone, and the Warriors should focus their efforts elsewhere on fortifying the roster.

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