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The Detroit Pistons Buyout Blake Griffin

Feb 12, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) shoots as he is fouled by Boston Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye (37) in the third quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a year since the Pistons finally got off Josh Smith’s contract stretch that lasted from 2014-2015 to the end of the 2019-2020 season. Now the Pistons have another gigantic contract on their books for the next half-decade and maybe more. Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Pistons and Griffin agreed to a buyout. He hasn’t seen the floor since February 12th after the Pistons announced they were looking for ways to move on.

Detroit owes Griffin around $36 million this season and nearly $39 million next season. It was hard to foresee a trade happening because of the salary issues. With his play level so far, no team would give up multiple key rotational pieces to match salary.

Griffin has started every game he’s played this season for the Pistons. He’s averaging 12.3 points, 3.9 assists, and 5.2 rebounds. His shooting splits aren’t great at 32% from three and 36% overall.

Throughout his career, Griffin made one of the most dramatic skillset transformations ever. He went from a Zion Williamson-type slasher to a playmaking four who can shoot the three off the dribble. However, the long-range aspect of his game has fallen apart this season.

The Brooklyn Nets Leading the Charge

Feb 9, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) dribbles the ball while defended by Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (9) during the fourth quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Shams Charania reported that Griffin is expected to choose the Brooklyn Nets. Other suitors include the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.

Charania added that Griffin believes the Nets are the NBA title favorites this year. Griffin would also reunite with former frontcourt partner Deandre Jordan from the time on the Los Angeles Clippers.

Griffin would likely come off the bench. He’s still capable of running a bench unit offense. He will give them another ball-handler and also a pick and roll/pop big. His overall I.Q. is an excellent asset to a contender.

If he can rediscover his shot, he could close games next to Jeff Green in the frontcourt. The Nets’ closing lineup would be the trio of Irving, Harden, and Durant and two high I.Q ball movers who have the bodies to take on bigger matchups.

Update: Shams Charania reported that Griffin agreed to give back $13.3 million in his buyout. His total salary over the next two years is about $75 million. This lessens the blow to the Pistons cap sheet.

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