NBA

Trail Blazers among favorites in Blake Griffin sweepstakes, but getting him won't be easy

NBA

Blake Griffin is on the way out for the Detroit Pistons.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that the Pistons are expected to sit Griffin "until the franchise and his representatives work through a resolution on his playing future". That will likely to spell the end of the six-time NBA All-Star's run with the last-place Pistons.

Griffin, 31, isn't the star player he once was, but he is still a capable starter when healthy. Through 20 games this season, Griffin has averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game. The scoring numbers represent a career-low for Griffin, but he is also taking a career-low 11.1 shots per game, which explains the drop-off.

Plenty of contending teams will have an interest in Griffin, and the Portland Trail Blazers could be among them. The Blazers are currently tied for fourth in the Western Conference with a 17-10 record. Griffin would help to bolster their frontcourt depth, provided that the price is right.

At the moment. the Trail Blazers are among the favorites to land Griffin. They have the 5th best odds among teams that could target Griffin if traded, per PointsBet Sportsbook. (The Hornets & Lakers are tied with the 4th best odds)

Team Odds
Oklahoma City Thunder +300
Miami Heat +350
Boston Celtics +450
Charlotte Hornets +600
Los Angeles Lakers +600
Portland Trail Blazers +700
Brooklyn Nets +1100
Chicago Bulls +1100
Golden State Warriors +1100
Philadelphia 76ers +1100

Though the Trail Blazers could use Griffin and could make a push to acquire him, trading for Griffin seems unlikely to pique the team's interest.

Griffin has two years remaining on the super-max contract he signed with the Los Angeles Clippers before being traded to Detroit. He's on the books for $36 million this year, so moving him at that price-tag would be no easy feat.

 

To offload enough salary to trade for Griffin, Portland would conceivably have to package players like Jusuf Nurkic and Robert Covington together while throwing in either Rodney Hood or Derrick Jones Jr. to make the money work. Sacrificing that much depth for Griffin at this stage in his career may not be worth it. The Pistons don't seem incredibly interested in taking on a contract that of what CJ McCollum commands, and the Trail Blazers desire to deal the shooting guard are a non-starter.

However, if Griffin is bought out of his contract, the Blazers could find a way to bring him aboard and add depth and talent to their team. They certainly can't be counted out of the Griffin race completely, but trading for him may not be their preferred course of action. 

[RELATED: Blake Griffin to the Trail Blazers is nothing more than an unrealistic pipe dream]

At this stage, it makes sense that Oklahoma City would be favored in the Griffin sweepstakes. Griffin played his college ball at Oklahoma and the Thunder could easily match salaries in any potential Griffin deal thanks to the presence of Al Horford and his $27.5 million salary on the team's payroll.

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