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NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Blake Griffin, Bojan Bogdanovic's Injury

Martin FennContributor IIIMay 19, 2020

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin, wearing a jersey in tribute to Kobe Bryant sits with guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (19) and assistant coach Sean Sweeney during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The Detroit Pistons were taking on some risk when they traded for Blake Griffin in January 2018.

Griffin had become one of the best forwards in the NBA shortly after making his debut with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2010. He made five consecutive All-Star teams, using his tremendous skill and athleticism to assert his will on the offensive side of the floor.

But the 31-year-old struggled to stay healthy in the two years prior to the Motor City, playing just 96 games combined across those two seasons. Those injury concerns were amplified by the fact he had just signed a five-year deal worth north of $171 million (per Spotrac) with L.A. prior to the 2017-18 campaign.

Initially, though, the trade still looked like a potential winner for the Pistons. Griffin showed signs of being more multi-dimensional in Detroit, someone capable of putting the ball on the floor and becoming more of a playmaker for his teammates.

Indeed, the Oklahoma product had arguably the best season of his career in his first full year with the Pistons. The former No. 1 overall pick averaged a career-high 24.5 points while also putting up 7.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists. He also expanded his game to the perimeter, shooting over 36 percent from beyond the arc on 7.0 attempts per game.

Unfortunately for the Pistons, Griffin's injuries resurfaced. He missed both of the team's first two playoff games in their series against the Milwaukee Bucks due to a bad left knee. That same issue would force him to miss 19 games this year prior to his decision to undergo surgery.

Now, his future with the Pistons might be in question.

Bobby Marks of ESPN pitched a number of proposals to help the NBA grapple with potential salary-cap losses because of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. One such proposal was a one-year amnesty provision, which would allow teams to waive a player without his salary counting against the cap. As Marks noted, this was used by the league as part of the collective bargaining agreement in 2011.

Should such a provision be reintroduced, Griffin is widely expected to be an amnesty candidate. Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported on The Hoop Collective that executives around the league are quick to bring up Griffin in any amnesty discussion.

There are upsides and downsides to waiving Griffin via the amnesty provision. Detroit would save nearly $37 million in cap space if they waived him. At the same time, Pistons owner Tom Gores would still have to pay his full salary. 

Might the Pistons ride it out with Griffin? After all, he does have just two years remaining on his current deal.

All the same, adding him to the market would intrigue any number of contenders, or at least those with enough cap space to get a deal done.

        

Bojan Bogdanovic First Injured Wrist in November

Duane Burleson/Associated Press

The Utah Jazz will be at a deficit even if basketball does resume at some point this year.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Bojan Bogdanovic is undergoing season-ending surgery on his right wrist, robbing Utah of its second-leading scorer. However, it seems the swingman himself might have pushed the envelope a bit too far.

While Wojnarowski noted Bogdanovic damaged his wrist in January, Tony Jones of The Athletic reported he first sustained the injury in November but chose to "play through the pain" after an MRI on the issue.

Bogdanovic might have been playing hurt, though he hardly showed any signs. 

The 31-year-old signed with the Jazz last summer after a two-year stint in Indiana, quickly asserting himself as one of their best offensive weapons. He averaged 20.2 points per game while also shooting well above 41 percent from deep on 7.3 attempts per game.

Bogey also put his clutch gene to work. He hit multiple game-winning jumpers throughout the course of the year, including an absurd buzzer-beater against the Houston Rockets in February.

The Jazz were fourth in the Western Conference prior to the suspension of play, and the Croatian helped them rank in the top 10 in terms of offensive rating, per Basketball Reference.

But the Jazz could face an uphill climb without Bogdanovic's marksmanship and crafty scoring abilities, especially in the playoffs.

   

All stats obtained via Basketball Reference