The NBA world is abuzz after news began to circulate of the Detroit Pistons and forward Blake Griffin looking for a potential trade or buyout.
Pistons general manager Troy Weaver told ESPN Monday: ”After extensive conversation with Blake's representatives, it has been determined that we will begin working to facilitate a resolution regarding his future with the team that maximizes the interests of both parties. We respect all the effort Blake has put forth in Detroit and his career and will work to achieve a positive outcome for all involved."
Each NBA team’s fans are now likely at trade simulators online to see if their franchise would have the assets to make a Griffin deal happen.
Trail Blazers fans are undoubtedly culprits of this, too.
But, don’t get your hopes up and don’t be fooled.
Blake Griffin to the Trail Blazers is a pipe dream.
Griffin is 31 years old.
He is set to make $36.5M this season and has a player option of $38.9M next season before becoming an unrestricted free agent next season.
In order for the Trail Blazers to trade for him, they’d have to give up valuable assets to balance the money. And if they did get him, the Trail Blazers depth would be shot.
And what happens if Griffin gets hurt? As history would have it, that’s a very real possibility for the Pistons forward, who is now playing in his 12th season.
Over the course of his career, Griffin has missed over 350 games due to injury. That’s over 35% of the time.
He’s had multiple knee surgeries, torn quads, MCL sprains, etc.
Griffin has played in 20 games this season, but is averaging over nine points below his career average. He's also grabbing three fewer rebounds per game this season.
While injured themselves, a healthy Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins are better players to hitch your wagon to than Blake Griffin.
And any players involved in a trade may disrupt a Trail Blazers defense that is clicking more and more as each game goes by.
Plus, Portland does not have many expiring contracts, outside of Enes Kanter. But, then who would play center?
He hamstrings your team financially in a trade and there’s no indication that Griffin would join the Blazers in a buy-out situation.
Yes, Neil Olshey drafted Blake Griffin when he was GM of the LA Clippers in 2009. And despite how the 2009 Draft has panned out with James Harden, Stephen Curry, DeMar Derozan, Ricky Rubio and others, Griffin was always the presumptive pick. It wasn’t controversial.
So, could Olshey trade for Griffin? Sure, anything is possible. But, he would have to mortgage the Trail Blazers future in order to get a player who can opt out of his contract at the end of the season.
Could he convince Griffin to come to Portland if he’s bought out? If he thought the Trail Blazers were contending for a championship when a buy-out occurred…
But, there are a handful of teams, including his former team, the LA Clippers, that appear more aligned to win an NBA Championship right now.
And that’s what Griffin wants.
So, while Griffin is a big, flashy name, and his name has been floated around the Trail Blazers, whether those rumors had any substance or not, don’t be fooled.
It’s probably an unpopular opinion, but Blake Griffin in a Trail Blazers uniform is not the answer.
Sorry, Trail Blazers fans. It’s not the news you want to hear.
But, let’s be realistic.