Blake Griffin Trade Rumors: Nuggets Sign-and-Trade 'Definitely Not Happening'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorNovember 21, 2020

Detroit Pistons' Blake Griffin, right, drives against San Antonio Spurs' Trey Lyles during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
Darren Abate/Associated Press

The Denver Nuggets will not be pursuing a sign-and-trade deal with the Detroit Pistons for power forward Blake Griffin, per Mike Singer of the Denver Post.

"That's definitely not happening," a Nuggets source told Singer on Friday.

Speculation about a potential deal occurred on Twitter. John Hollinger of The Athletic notably tweeted that Detroit's deals for Denver forward Jerami Grant and center Mason Plumlee earlier in the day were "enough" for the Pistons and Nuggets to hypothetically pull off a sign-and-trade for Griffin.

The 31-year-old forward averaged 15.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest during an injury-shorted 2019-20 season that lasted just 18 games. The six-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA team member averaged 24.5 points and 7.5 boards per game the year before en route to leading the Pistons to the NBA playoffs.

Griffin signed a five-year, $171.1 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2017, per Spotrac, and was traded to Detroit in January 2018. He's due nearly $36.6 million in base salary in 2020-21 and holds a roughly $39.0 million player option for 2021-22.

The Denver Nuggets appear to be running it back with the core that brought them to the Western Conference Finals minus Grant and Plumlee. All-Star center Nikola Jokic and playoff superstar point guard Jamal Murray are signed long term, and the team also has Michael Porter Jr., Gary Harris, Will Barton and Monte Morris under contract for next year.

Denver should also feature the intriguing Bol Bol, a 7'2" center who can handle the rock and knock down threes. In addition, the Nuggets added Arizona big man Zeke Nnaji and New Zealand Breakers point guard R.J. Hampton in the first round of the NBA draft on Wednesday.

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The Nuggets have enough talent to compete for a Western Conference crown, although the Los Angeles Lakers figure to be title favorites once again in a loaded league. Griffin would be an excellent addition to pair with Jokic in the frontcourt, even though that doesn't appear to be coming to fruition.

At any rate, it may be best for Denver to let its young talent develop together as it searches for the first NBA Finals appearance in franchise history.