- The Pistons are looking to trade or buy out Blake Griffin..
- Griffin is owed $36.8M this season and has a player option worth $38.9M for the 2021-22 season.
- Detroit is rebuilding around Jerami Grant and their “Four Core” rookies led by Saddiq Bey and Killian Hayes.
The Detroit Pistons and Blake Griffin have agreed to mutually part ways.
In an announcement, the Pistons said that Griffin will stay out of the Pistons’ lineup until the team and Griffin’s representatives reach a resolution to the player’s situation.
Griffin has told the team that he wants to play for a contender while the team is focused on developing its young players in an effort to rebuild the team. Said Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver in a statement on Monday:
Finding a Trade Partner
Blake Griffin’s Contract
2021-22: $38.9M player option
The #Pistons appear poised to trade, or possibly buyout the oft injured 31 year old, who has been averaging 12 points, 5 boards, & 3 assists in 20 games this season.https://t.co/5ZnQYHEFwY
— Spotrac (@spotrac) February 15, 2021
Griffin has looked like a shell of his old self this season, averaging just 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game. But despite that, he is just a couple of seasons removed from an All-Star selection. Griffin was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team during the 2018-19 season before injuries limited him the following year.
Finding a trade partner for Griffin could prove to be challenge as the former All-Star is owed $36.8M this season and has a $38.9M player option for next season. With a bloated contract and diminished value, it won’t be easy to move the 2011 NBA Rookie of the Year. However, sources say that the Pistons will try to work out a deal until the March 25th trade deadline. If the Pistons can’t work out a trade for Griffin, then they will have to buy him out.
Whichever team lands Griffin after his exit from the Pistons will have a six-time All-Star with a 53-game playoff experience on their roster. While Griffin no longer has the high-flying moves that marked his All-Star career, he is still a decent scorer and good rebounder who could provide excellent support for a contending team, especially during the postseason.
Pistons in Full Rebuild Mode
New Pistons GM Troy Weaver laid out a big line:
“This isn’t a rebuild. This is a restoring. We’re not here to re-invent the wheel. We’re here to install it back in Detroit.” pic.twitter.com/T3qGcBK9L6
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) June 23, 2020
Although he refused to coin it as a “rebuild”, Detroit GM Troy Weaver is doing that with the Pistons in his first full-season with the franchise. Detroit made the biggest splash in free agency and the trade market, adding a total of 11 new players to the team he inherited last season. Then after just two months, he traded Derrick Rose to the Knicks and now Griffin is on the way out too.
During the offseason, Weaver took a chance by signing Jerami Grant to a $60M contract even if Grant had never been a number 1 option in his first six seasons with the NBA and was a mere role player with the Denver Nuggets last season. But Grant has made Weaver look like a genius, averaging 23.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game while playing a career-high 36.2 minutes per outing.
Weaver’s Core Four Rookies in Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart and second round pick Saben Lee have also impressed for the Pistons. While Hayes is still on the mend, Bey was named as the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday after helping the Pistons to a 3-1 record last week while averaging almost 18 points per game. Bey is only the second Pistons rookie to win such honors, after Kelly Tripucka.