The Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat have reportedly all "expressed interest" in power forward Blake Griffin as he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Marc Stein of the New York Times reported details of the widespread interest in Griffin, who agreed to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons on Friday, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Stein added the Boston Celtics are also involved, and he labeled the Nets as a "strong contender."
Shams Charania and James Edwards III of The Athletic took it one step further, saying the Nets have emerged as the "leaders" in the free-agent pursuit.
Griffin averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists across 20 appearances for the Pistons this season. Detroit general manager Troy Weaver announced Feb. 15 the team would hold the six-time All-Star out of the lineup until it found a resolution for his future.
A buyout that allowed him to pick his next destination in free agency rather than be locked into another team via trade was the best option for the 31-year-old Oklahoma native.
It appears he'll have his choice of high-end contenders.
"I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to accomplish in my career and for working together on the best path forward," Griffin said last month.
The Lakers have the most pressing short-term need at the 4 with superstar Anthony Davis sidelined since mid-February by calf and Achilles injuries. The initial timetable called for a four-week absence, but head coach Frank Vogel said they aren't going to rush him back into the lineup.
"We want to try to put this fully behind him and be conservative with it, just to make sure that it's fully healed before he's back," Vogel told reporters.
Griffin could take over from Markieff Morris as the starter at power forward with Kyle Kuzma also available to log minutes in the stretch 4 role, and he'd provide L.A. with insurance to play it safe with AD.
The 2011 NBA Rookie of the Year would slide into a smaller reserve role once Davis returned, but he'd still make an impact off the bench and could compete for a championship.
Brooklyn might represent a path to a more sustained role given the team's limited frontcourt depth. He could even establish himself as the starting center if the Nets opt for small-ball lineups over having traditional center DeAndre Jordan on the floor.
Griffin may work quickly to pick a new team since he'll want to clear COVID-19 protocols and get on the floor as soon as possible following the All-Star break, which ends March 10.