Blake Griffin Era in Detroit has officially come to an end. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Detroit Pistons and Blake Griffin have agreed to a buyout, and Griffin will now become an unrestricted free agent. GM released a statement on behalf of the Detroit Pistons, stating, “We respect all the effort Blake has put forth in Detroit and his career and will work to achieve a positive outcome for all involved.” per Rod Beard of The Detroit News.
Why a buyout instead of trade?
Detroit Pistons had a difficult time trying to find the right deal for Blake Griffin. Since February 15, the Detroit Pistons have been looking to find Griffin’s assets; the problem was no team wanted to deal with the rest of his contract. Griffin signed a five-year, $171 million deal back when he was with the Clippers before arriving in Detroit. Griffin is still owed $36.6 million for this season and 39 million for the next season in that contract. The Pistons had no choice to mutually end Griffin’s time in Detroit by reducing the remaining salary to become an unrestricted free agent per Wojnarowski.
What Griffin brings to his new team?
Blake Griffin, back in the day, was one of the most explosive players in history. Nobody will forget his famous dunk over the car during the Slam Dunk Contest. But due to injuries, Griffin’s play on the floor has been a dramatic difference. Griffin has not even dunked in a game since December of 2019. Last season, Griffin sat out for most of the season due to his left knee surgery. Even though Griffin is not the same high flying explosive player back when he was on the Clippers and early Detroit days. Griffin brings veteran leadership to any of those teams. While mentoring rookie Saddiq Bey, Griffin discussed leadership skills stating, “Being a mentor and being a leader is part of your skillset, I believe.” per Will Burchfield of 97.1 radio.
Where will Griffin end up?
Blake Griffin’s dream since getting into the league is to compete for a championship. Griffin has multiple destinations where he would like to end up soon. Teams interested in Griffin are:Brooklyn, Golden State, Miami, and Portland. Per Shams Charania and James Edwards III of the Athletic, The Brooklyn Nets are the favorites to sign Blake Griffin.
Thank You, Blake Griffin
Since day one, Blake Griffin embraced the city of Detroit and what being a Detroit Piston is all about. When Griffin arrived in Detroit, fans were super excited for a major star to arrive in the city. Griffin’s Jersey sales were the highest since when Detroit traded for Rasheed Wallace back in 2004. Griffin brought back Detroit Basketball’s love to fans with his high-flying dunks, blocks, and memorable moments. From his 50 point game against the Sixers in 2018 to his posterized block over Montrezl Harrell. Griffin showed what it meant to be a Detroit Piston again, and so we thank you for what you have brought to this city and the fans.