Nets' Updated 2021 Salary Cap After Blake Griffin Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2021

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin plays during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The Brooklyn Nets have a new piece to what they are hoping is a championship puzzle.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Blake Griffin's agent, Sam Goldfeder, said his client will join the Nets after he cleared waivers Sunday night following his buyout with the Detroit Pistons.

Wojnarowski noted Griffin agreed to a veteran minimum contract.

According to Spotrac, the forward's cap figure is $776,983. That means Brooklyn's total cap allocation total is $165.3 million.

On the surface, this seems like a major signing. After all, Griffin is a six-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA selection who was an MVP candidate during his prime on the Los Angeles Clippers.

Even casual fans surely remember him soaring through the air and throwing down lobs from Chris Paul when he was a dominant force in L.A.

Unfortunately for the Nets, that is not the version they will get following this move.

The 31-year-old Griffin played just 18 games last season and will likely be a role player at best for the rest of this season. Wojnarowski reported Brooklyn views him as more of a "small-ball center alternative off its bench" than someone who will anchor the attack like he did when he was with the Clippers.

Griffin averaged 12.3 points a night behind an ugly 36.5 percent shooting from the field in 20 games with the Pistons this season prior to the buyout. He averaged 6.2 three-point attempts per game but is shooting just 31.5 percent from deep, so efficiency is also a concern.

Fortunately for Brooklyn, Griffin doesn't have to be more than a role player. The team already has James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and was a championship contender well before it added the veteran as a depth option off the bench.

Griffin can help the team's second unit if he rediscovers his form, but don't expect him to do more than that.