Blake Griffin seeking trade or buyout to join contender as Pistons continue rebuild

Vincent Goodwill
·2 min read

Blake Griffin will remain out of the Detroit Pistons’ lineup as the two sides try to work on a resolution to his situation, as he wants to play for a contender and the Pistons are focusing on the development of their young players.

Griffin has two years left on a deal he signed with the Los Angeles Clippers before being traded to Detroit in 2017, being owed $36.8 million this season and he has a player option for $39 million next season — making a buyout an option if they cannot find a trade partner.

Griffin will be around the team in certain capacities, but with the growth of Jerami Grant, rookies Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart and others, the Pistons faced the prospect of cutting Griffin’s playing time — and out of respect to Griffin being a solid veteran and player of stature, this solution was inevitable.

Blake Griffin with the ball in his hand to dribble and looking up the court.
Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin drives against the Phoenix Suns during their game on Feb. 5, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Griffin wants to play meaningful games, and he has worked hard to get back from numerous surgeries which have sapped his athleticism over the years. Even as his game has developed and matured, becoming a better long-range shooter and offensive hub, his body has failed him.

“I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to accomplish in my career and for working together on the best path forward,” Griffin said in a statement.

Once an explosive dunker, he hasn’t finished above the rim since December 2019, a season which he played only 18 games before undergoing left knee surgery.

After making All-NBA third team in 2018-19, Griffin has played just 38 games and averaged 13.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists on 36% shooting and 28% from the 3-point line.

The Pistons are embarking on a rebuild, having traded Andre Drummond last year before bringing in Troy Weaver as general manager this offseason. Weaver traded Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks last week, and this move was next on the docket.

“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,” Weaver said in a statement. “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.”

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