Nets Rumors: Blake Griffin Expected to Sign Contract After Pistons Buyout

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2021

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York/Associated Press

The Brooklyn Nets reportedly are favored to sign veteran forward Blake Griffin in free agency following his buyout from the Detroit Pistons

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, rival teams expect Griffin to join the Nets due to their status as a championship contender.

After sitting Griffin for the past 10 games in anticipation of a buyout or trade, the Pistons bought him out Friday, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski added that Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers are among the teams interested in Griffin aside from Brooklyn.

Griffin, 31, is in the midst of his 11th NBA season. He spent parts of eight seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, making five All-Star appearances during that time, and then parts of four seasons with the Pistons, earning an All-Star nod in 2018-19.

Before the Pistons shut him down this season, Griffin was struggling through the worst statistical campaign of his NBA career.

Through 20 games, his averages of 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds were career lows, plus he was shooting just 36.5 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from beyond the arc.

During his stint with the Clippers, Griffin was primarily an interior scoring and rebounding guy, averaging 21.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in 504 regular-season contests with L.A.

After getting traded to the Pistons during the 2017-18 season, however, Griffin expanded his game and became more versatile.

That led to perhaps the best all-around season of his career in 2018-19 when he averaged a career-high 24.5 points to go along with 7.5 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.5 three-pointers made.

Griffin was unable to build on that season, though, as knee injuries limited him to 18 games in 2019-20, and he has played in just 20 games so far this season.

Brooklyn could be an ideal landing spot for Griffin since he won't be asked to be anything more than the No. 4 offensive option behind the Big Three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

Griffin could conceivably start alongside center DeAndre Jordan in the frontcourt, or he could be the top option off the bench if head coach Steve Nash decides to keep Joe Harris in the starting lineup.

At 24-13, the Nets are currently second in the Eastern Conference, and they should give Griffin the best opportunity he has ever had to win an NBA championship during his career.