Report: Lakers, Clippers, Nets, Warriors, Heat and Trail Blazers interested in Blake Griffin after buyout
The Blake Griffin sweepstakes are open.
Griffin and the Pistons have agreed to a buyout.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Six-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin has agreed to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons and will become an unrestricted free agent, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 5, 2021
Among teams that are expected to be considered for Griffin's next stop, sources tell ESPN: Brooklyn, Golden State, Miami and Portland— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 5, 2021
Marc Stein of The New York Times:
The Lakers, Clippers, Nets, Heat and Warriors are among the teams that have expressed interest in Blake Griffin when he becomes an unrestricted free agent, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 5, 2021
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.