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Report: Pistons star Blake Griffin considering season-ending surgery

Mock NBA expansion draft

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 18: Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons looks on against the Toronto Raptors on December 18, 2019 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 2019 NBAE (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Pistons said Blake Griffin’s knee injury couldn’t get any worse by playing late last season. Griffin missed Detroit’s first two playoff games, played the final two games of the Bucks sweep then underwent offseason knee surgery. The Pistons said he wasn’t expected to miss any offseason training. Instead, Griffin missed the first 10 games of the regular season and continued to face knee issues even after returning.

Now, a bad situation could prove to be even worse.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

Detroit Pistons star forward Blake Griffin will visit a specialist this week because of his ailing left knee and season-ending surgery is being considered, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

This is a disaster for the Pistons, both in the short and long term.

Detroit paid a substantial cost to get Griffin from the Clippers a couple years ago, even amid long-term health concerns. The hope was he’d help enough early in his contract, but the Pistons have zero playoff wins with Griffin. The 30-year-old’s deal will likely age poorly. Griffin is guaranteed $75,768,024 over the next two seasons.

The Pistons are 13-24 – not good, though still within striking distance of the Eastern Conference playoffs. But making a postseason push without Griffin would be even more of a longshot. Detroit is 8-10 with him and 5-14 without him.

It’ll be interesting to see how this affects Andre Drummond trade talks. Will the Pistons accept this as a lost season and get whatever value they can as Drummond approaches free agency? Or will they prioritize keeping one big name to draw fans?

Either way, Detroit is on the hook for Griffin’s salary the next couple years. Drummond is a secondary concern. Building around Griffin – either by getting him supporting pieces in an attempt to win or rebuilding despite his ability to contribute when healthy – won’t be easy.