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#pounditFriday, September 30, 2022

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin expected to sign with Nets?

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin is drawing interest from several contending teams now that he has reached a buyout agreement with the Detroit Pistons, but the six-time All-Star may have already made his decision.

The Brooklyn Nets are considered the favorite to sign Griffin, Shams Charania and James Edwards III of The Athletic report. While several teams are pursuing Griffin, the belief is that he will wind up in Brooklyn.

There are at least four other teams that have entertained the idea of signing Griffin.

The Nets have hit their stride now that they are at full strength with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. They entered Friday a half-game back of the Philadelphia 76ers for first place in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn has won 10 of its last 11 games.

Griffin is nowhere near as explosive as he used to be, but you can understand why contenders want to sign him. He averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists on a Pistons team that is one of the worst in the NBA. He’d be a great addition to the Nets and further cement their position as the favorite in the East.

Report: These five teams have interest in Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin is set to become an unrestricted free agent after reaching a buyout agreement with the Detroit Pistons on Friday. As you might expect, the six-time All-Star is drawing plenty of interest from contending teams.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Griffin has generated interest from most of the NBA’s top playoff contenders. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, those teams include the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors.

All of those teams are either a lock to make the playoffs or squarely in the hunt. While Griffin has lost a lot of his explosiveness due to injuries, he still averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists on a Pistons team that is one of the worst in the NBA.

The Pistons announced last month that they would be sidelining Griffin while they pursued trade possibilities for him. They then struggled to find a trade partner for the 31-year-old, so a buyout was the most likely outcome all along.

Report: Pistons struggling to find Blake Griffin trade partner

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin is waiting for his departure from the Detroit Pistons, but it sounds like the team is really struggling to find takers for the former All-Star.

According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Pistons have struggled to trade Griffin, and executives around the league expect the forward to ultimately be bought out instead.

“I know they’ve been trying to trade him for months and can’t find a taker,” one Western Conference executive told Scotto. “Part of it is Blake also saying there are certain teams he would prefer to go to. This is a weird one. Non zero chance they buy him out, which just seems crazy.”

Two other executives also felt a buyout was the most likely option for Griffin, with his contract proving to be a major stumbling block. The good news for Griffin is that the executives expect him to receive “significant interest” if he does hit the open market.

When the Pistons decided to sideline Griffin as they pursued a trade, they might not have anticipated having such a hard time moving him on. While Griffin remains a big name, his production is far from what it once was. Over the last two seasons, the 31-year-old has averaged a modest 13.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while being hindered by injuries.

Pistons will hold Blake Griffin out while pursuing trade, buyout

Blake Griffin

The Detroit Pistons are off to an 8-19 start this year and have clearly entered a rebuilding phase, and they are not going to ask Blake Griffin to continue to be a part of it.

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday that Griffin and the team have agreed that the star forward will remain out of the lineup while Detroit pursues trade possibilities. If a trade can’t be worked out, it’s possible the two sides could discuss a buyout agreement.

“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. “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.”

Griffin said in a statement to ESPN that he is “grateful” that the Pistons understand what he wants to accomplish in his career and that they are helping him work toward those goals.

Griffin is owed $36.6 million this season and $39 million in 2021-2022, so he won’t be easy to trade. The Pistons want to play some of their younger players, which is why they are reportedly open to buyout talks if they can’t find a trade partner for Griffin.

We know of at least one team that was linked to a potential Griffin trade during the offseason, so they could circle back now that the Pistons have made the six-time All-Star available.

Video: Blake Griffin had disrespectful reaction to Thomas Bryant amid skirmish

Blake Griffin Thomas Bryant

Blake Griffin had a disrespectful reaction to Thomas Bryant amid a skirmish between the men on Thursday.

During the third quarter of the Detroit Pistons’ preseason game against the Washington Wizards, Griffin tossed Bryant to the ground as they battled for positioning. Bryant came off the floor upset and shoved Griffin, who just smiled and laughed back.

That was purely a disrespectful response from Griffin, especially since he’s the one who tossed Bryant.

Griffin did get called for a flagrant-1 foul for the move.

Griffin, 31, is coming off his worst season as a pro. He averaged a career-worst 15.5 points and 4.7 rebounds in 28.4 minutes per game last season, when he was limited by knee injuries throughout the year. Detroit is hoping that several months of rest and rehab will have Griffin returned to old form.

Nuggets shoot down Blake Griffin sign-and-trade rumor

Blake Griffin

The Denver Nuggets reportedly have shot down rumors of a possible Blake Griffin sign-and-trade deal.

The Detroit Pistons’ moves in free agency led to some speculation that they were setting up for a sign-and-trade deal with the Nuggets involving Griffin. They agreed to a three-year, $25 million deal with Mason Plumlee, who spent the last four seasons with Denver. They also agreed to a 3-year, $60 million deal with Jerami Grant, another former Nuggets player.

A few reporters noted that the amounts the Pistons are signing both Nuggets players for would fit in with a sign-and-trade deal for Griffin, who is making $36.6 million next season.

The rumor of a sign-and-trade began to spread in the NBA Twitter community, but a Nuggets source told The Denver Post’s Mike Singer that such a move is “definitely not happening.”

What will the Pistons end up doing from here? It’s hard to figure at the moment. They have comically loaded up on big men and still owe Griffin a ton.

Perhaps they will find a way to move on from him this offseason.

Blake Griffin willing to accept different role for Pistons

Blake Griffin’s days as a true franchise centerpiece may be over, and he is willing to adapt accordingly.

Speaking with the media on Friday, the Detroit Pistons star said that he was open to taking on a different role for the team starting next season.

“I’ve told them, I’m here to do whatever they ask of me,” said Griffin, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN. “Whether that’s sort of taking on a different role, taking on more of a role, whatever it might be. Whatever they feel the need for me to do.”

“We’ll have a lot of young guys so I think spending a lot of time with them and really setting the foundation in making sure all these guys understand what Pistons basketball is about and the type of basketball we’re trying to play,” he added. “So, as the season gets closer, as free agency comes, as the draft comes, I think we’ll be able to feel that out more and more, but right now, I’m just here, I’m working and trying to be a leader in any way I can.”

Griffin, the six-time All-Star, only played in 18 games for Detroit before left knee surgery in January ended his season early. The Pistons, who went 20-46 and did not get invited to Orlando, traded away longtime center Andre Drummond in February and now seem to be initiating a full-scale rebuild.

Now 31, Griffin is still owed a hefty $75.6 million over the next two seasons. While Detroit’s new GM recently conveyed a continued commitment to him, it may be smart for the Pistons to move away from having Griffin doing all their heavy lifting.

New Pistons GM expresses commitment to Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin Pistons

Some see former All-Star big man Blake Griffin as dead weight on the Detroit Pistons, but their new general manager certainly begs to differ.

At his introductory press conference Monday, Pistons GM hire Troy Weaver expressed the team’s continued commitment to the 31-year-old Griffin.

“As long as Blake is in a Pistons uniform, I look forward to working with him,” said Weaver, per James Edwards III of The Athletic. “He’s in our plans moving forward.”

Griffin is still under contract for $75.6 million over the next two seasons. But seemingly endless knee surgeries have limited his effectiveness and overall availability for the Pistons, who appear to be stuck in constant mediocrity.

Weaver, the former vice president of basketball operations for the Oklahoma City Thunder, will have the challenging task of righting the ship for Detroit. It does look like Griffin, who recently signaled confidence about his ability to return to a high level of play, will be staying along for the ride though.

Blake Griffin was a huge fan of ‘The Last Dance’ Michael Jordan series

Blake Griffin Pistons

Blake Griffin was every bit as much of a fan of “The Last Dance” documentary series as so many of us.

During April and May, ESPN aired two episodes of a 10-part series on the 1990s Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan. The episodes would air on Sunday nights and delivered big ratings, due in part to the nature of the subject and also the lack of other sports programming.

Griffin says he was hooked on it.

“I watched every episode a couple times. First of all it saved me, because it gave me something to look forward to every Sunday. And as a basketball fan, as a Jordan fan, that was like basketball porn. It was unbelievable to see all the behind-the-scenes footage,” said Griffin.

During a time when people where locked down in their homes, having some programming to look forward to like “The Last Dance” made a big difference. The only problem for Griffin is that his cool Michael Jordan story is now too widespread.

Griffin, 31, is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his knee. He recently said he does not think he is in a decline.

Blake Griffin does not think he is in decline

Blake Griffin Pistons

Many around the league see Blake Griffin as very much a depreciating asset, but the six-time All-Star himself begs to differ.

Speaking with the media Thursday, the Detroit Pistons big man said that he does not see himself as being in decline and does not anticipate his current contract being his last one, per Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press. Griffin also said that he feels “great” and recently met with his trainer to discuss escalating his training program.

Griffin, who recently turned 31, was limited to 18 games this season before undergoing another knee surgery. The injuries have piled up on him, causing Griffin to lose significant athleticism. But he is a much more well-rounded player now (at least when healthy) with a greater emphasis on ball-handling and three-point shooting.

The former No. 1 overall pick is owed a hefty $75.6 million over the next two seasons, leading some to believe that he is a likely amnesty candidate. But Griffin still thinks that he has plenty of high-level basketball left to play, so don’t write him off just yet.