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Blake Griffin officially signs with Nets, reportedly for minimum salary

Former Pistons forward Blake Griffin and Nets players DeAndre Jordan and Kyrie Irving

DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 9: Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons shoots the ball over DeAndre Jordan #6 and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets on February 9, 2021 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Blake Griffin surrendered $13,333,333 in his Pistons buyout to become an free agent and sign with the Nets.

How much will he recoup in Brooklyn?

Nets release:

The Brooklyn Nets have signed free agent forward Blake Griffin.
“We’re fortunate to be able to add a player of Blake’s caliber to our roster at this point in the season,” said Nets General Manager Sean Marks. “Blake is a versatile frontcourt player with a long track record of success in our league, and we’re excited about the impact he’ll make for us both on and off the court in Brooklyn.”

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Nets are using one of their veteran-minimum-contract slots to sign Griffin, sources said.

Griffin will earn $1,229,676 the rest of the season (and count just $776,983 toward Brooklyn’s salary cap and luxury tax).

It’s surprising Griffin accepted such a low salary. Not only did he relinquish so much to leave Detroit, the Nets had ability to pay him more. They have a $5,727,024 disabled-player exception (Spencer Dinwiddie) and their slightly smaller taxpayer mid-level exception.

That said, Marks is stretching when he says, “We’re fortunate to be able to add a player of Blake’s caliber to our roster at this point in the season.” Griffin – a six-time All-Star and five-time All-NBAer – is an accomplished player. In that sense, he adds even more name recognition to a team with Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan.

But nearing 32 with major athletic decline, Griffin has a far lower current caliber. He’s not the dunker he was with the Clippers. He’s not even the shooter he was at his best with the Pistons. His lift just hasn’t been there. Never a great defender, he looks increasingly immobile. He’s a good passer and ball-handler for his size. But it’ll be imperative he shoots better than he did in his later Detroit days. Maybe he’ll be invigorated to join a championship contender, and playing with Brooklyn’s stars should get him more open looks.

Really, Griffin – a flawed player with some ability to help in a limited role who’s getting a minimum salary – looks like a fairly typical in-season signing. The big difference is his fame.