Pistons Expected to Proceed With Blake Griffin Buyout

By | March 5, 2021

Blake Griffin’s time with the Detroit Pistons is nearing its end.

According to a report from The Athletic, the Pistons are expected to part ways with the All-Star forward via a buyout. Griffin has not played since February 14th after he and the Pistons agreed to mutually part ways. Their agreement involved temporarily putting Griffin on the shelf while figuring out whether he exits via trade or buyout.

Buyout Is the Way Out

The Pistons first option was to trade Griffin and hope to get something in return from him, However, given that he is making $36.8M this season with a player option of $38.9M next year and the fact that he is no longer a spring chicken, finding a trade partner was always going to be very difficult.

That has proved to be the case as Detroit has not gotten any offers for Griffin, hence the buyout market will most likely be the way that the Blake Griffin story would end in Detroit. With the traded deadline nearing, the Pistons are said to be finalizing the move not only to give Griffin an opportunity to move on to the next chapter of his career but for the team to focus on their rebuilding process.

Detroit came to this season with few expectations. The team traded rebounding machine Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers for virtually nothing and bought out Reggie Jackson and Markieff Morris last season. Derrick Rose was traded earlier this season and Griffin was expected to be the next one on the move.

With a 10-25 record, Detroit is the worst team in the East and has the second-worst record in the entire NBA. The best NBA betting sites aren’t too high on the Pistons and ESPN’s BPI playoff index says that they have less than 1% chance of making the playoffs despite being still mathematically alive in the race at 7 games behind the 8th spot.

Worst Season of NBA Career

The current campaign has been the worst season of Blake Griffin’s NBA career. He is averaging a career-low 12.3 points per game while shooting under 40% for the second straight season. Griffin also has the worst 3P% for a player with 6+ three-point attempts per game at only 30.5%. Worse, he hasn’t dunked since 2019.

Griffin’s career is most popular for his ability to play above the rim. Along with Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, they ushered the Lob City era with the L.A. Clippers. Griffin was one of the NBA’s most prolific and ferocious dunkers and he was the NBA’s Slam Dunk champion in 2011 after he jumped over a car in the final round.

But the athleticism that led to six All-Star and five All-NBA selections have been diminished because of multiple injuries. Griffin is only 31 years old and is just two seasons removed from his last All-Star Game appearance. However, he no longer has the physical prowess that he once possessed. And his lack of mobility has made him a liability on the defensive end of the court.

Despite his decline, Griffin’s a player who can help contenders. Not only does he still have his offensive skills, minus the dunks, he has a 53-game playoff experience that could provide important minutes off the bench during a long postseason run. The big question now is where and that makes this story interesting.

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