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Report: Lakers, Clippers, Nets, Warriors, Heat and Trail Blazers interested in Blake Griffin after buyout

Pistons forward Blake Griffin and Lakers star LeBron James

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 28: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers plays defense on Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons on January 28, 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

The Blake Griffin sweepstakes are open.

Griffin and the Pistons have agreed to a buyout.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

It’s unclear whether the Lakers, Clippers, Nets, Warriors, Heat and Trail Blazers are the most likely Griffin destinations or just the possibilities that happened to get reported first. Even if the former, that’s still a long list.

Brooklyn and Portland most need another big, but Griffin – considering his defensive deficiencies – is far from a perfect fit. Golden State and Miami could use more frontcourt depth, but they’re just scraping to get into the playoffs. The Lakers least need a player like him, but they’re also championship favorites. The Clippers… it’d be interesting if Griffin returned, given how his exit went.

But things change over time – including Griffin.

No longer a voracious dunker, Griffin developed his ball skills and was still highly effective in Detroit. But that was two years ago, and Griffin will turn 32 this month. He might no longer be athletic enough to play even that way. His jumper has suffered as his lift decreases, and he’s more immobile defensively.

Griffin hasn’t played in three weeks while awaiting this outcome, and the All-Star break allows more rest. Maybe he’ll be fresher and more invigorated on a winning team. His passing still shines.

But expectations should be limited.

Griffin will still be owed $56,606,136 on the rest of his contract after he clears waivers. He surrendered some of that money to become a free agent.

The remaining amount paid will count on the Pistons’ books – 31% this season, 69% next season (or 31% this season, 23% each of the following three seasons if Griffin is stretched).

That cap hit is an unmovable impediment. So, Griffin had to sacrifice enough to make it worth Detroit’s while.