I also have heard a little noise about Griffin’s health and availability. Now, I don’t get the sense the Pistons are eager to trade him just to trade him. From all accounts, the knee injury that forced him to miss most of last season has healed and he’s feeling fine. The last time we saw Griffin with two working knees, he was All-NBA and one of the league’s 20 best players. The Pistons don’t want to be a doormat, and they appear to be confident he still has good basketball left in him, with only two years left on his deal.
Still, no one on this roster is untouchable, and finding a partner for a Griffin trade might not be as challenging as it may have seemed even two months ago. Many teams have a championship or playoff window on which they’d like to capitalize, and others may be looking to return to relevancy. The Pistons are one of the few teams with cap space this offseason, so they could receive calls on Griffin’s availability.
It’s unlikely the Pistons could trade Griffin right now, due to his health and contract. If they could, though, they’d probably have to give up either a first-round pick(s) and/or young players like Kennard and Sekou Doumbouya. Detroit is not in the position to be giving away assets, especially just to get off a contract. The Pistons need more assets, not fewer.
A fresh chapter in Detroit Pistons franchise history is set to be written next season, but new general manager Troy Weaver still sees veteran stars Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose as part of the "plans going forward." Griffin, 31, is coming off left knee surgery after playing in just 18 games this season. "I'm excited about having the chance to work with Blake," Weaver, a longtime Oklahoma City Thunder executive, said Monday at his introductory news conference. "Obviously, being in Oklahoma City for the last 12 years, I remember Blake quite well, playing at OU and his family being around there, being from Oklahoma City. So, I'm very familiar with Blake.
That puts Griffin, who has another guaranteed year left on his contract and a player option worth nearly $39 million in 2021-22, in an awkward position. He’s the franchise player, but is also 31, coming off of season-ending surgery and likely exiting his prime years. How does he fit into Detroit's plans? “That’s up to the front office,” Griffin said in a video conference call Thursday. “Depends on what they want to do and how they want to go about it. At a certain time, at the right time, I’ll have those conversations.”
He appears to be at peace with the possibility of remaining in Detroit for the long haul. Griffin said as long as he’s here, he’ll do whatever the franchise asks. “If I’m on the Detroit Pistons, I’m doing everything I can to prepare to play for them and win games,” Griffin said. “That’s just how you’re wired to play as far as what we do in the offseason, what we’re going to do next year, that’s going to be up to them. Whenever the time is right, we’ll have that conversation.”
It’s impossible for Detroit to indulge in a full-scale rebuild with Griffin’s contract on the books. His trade value at this moment is low. There’s a sense around the league that Detroit would need to attach an asset or two for someone to seriously listen. But if the Pistons do that, their revolving-door problem of punting on assets would persist.
Griffin likely isn’t going anywhere if the Pistons continue to stay the course for the duration of his contract, which expires after 2021-22. If a rebuild is in the cards, though, one would imagine the Pistons try to move his money. According to one league source, Griffin’s value has dipped because of the injury to start the year, the contract and his age, but that source wouldn’t be surprised if a desperate team made a move for his services.
Rod Beard: From everyone I've talked to in the #Pistons organization, including team owner Tom Gores, there is no discussion of trading Blake Griffin. If Griffin goes, it likely means a complete teardown and reboot, a suggestion they've shot down many times over the years.
Keep half an eye on Griffin. Detroit does not want to trade him. The Pistons are hell-bent on making the playoffs. Griffin is their star attraction. But if things go badly, teams will call. Griffin would be one of the few really good available players with a max-ish contract that isn't too short or too long.
Rod Beard: Blake Griffin at All-Star Media Day on whether he'll play for the #Pistons next year: "Yes, I'm under contract for several more years." pic.twitter.com/QzmdchN3rr
I took an informal poll of NBA scouts Thursday before the Pistons’ 93-89 victory over the trade-ravaged Dallas Mavericks: What is Griffin's trade value? The poll of four scouts yielded varying results. At one end, an Eastern Conference scout didn’t express much interest in Griffin, saying his post-up game isn’t made for today’s game. A Western Conference scout disagreed vehemently. He said the Pistons could expect to land two first-round picks if they were to make Griffin available.
James Edwards III: In regards to the rumor that Blake Griffin said he wanted out of Detroit, “I heard that buzzing. Sometimes you should consider the source with some of that stuff.” Said he, his agent nor his people have asked to be traded.
Rod Beard: #Pistons Tom Gores on concern about Blake Griffin requesting a trade, like Davis: "I know he’s committed to Detroit, to me and to us. If you see him competing, it’s because he wants to win and he believes in this. He’s only a half-season into this – so I’m not concerned at all.
Rod Beard: #Pistons Gores on whether he thinks Blake Griffin is frustrated with losing this season: "I’d be frustrated – I’d want to win. He’s having the best season of his life but if you’re not winning, who cares? He’s a leader, so he’s pushing everybody."
A source told the Free Press over the weekend that Griffin and his representatives are aware of the Pistons’ current limitations in roster building and are expressing patience. The offseason could represent a time for major roster reconstruction around Griffin. But for now, the timing isn’t there for a Griffin trade.
Nick Friedell: Caught up with Blake Griffin for an interview that will run soon on @SportsCenter. He says he didn't hear from any Clippers personnel as trade talks intensified: "Finding out through Twitter, through other people, is a tough way to find out."
Rod Beard: #Pistons Blake Griffin on shock of being traded from L.A.: "Shocked is a good way to put it. I found out when everybody else found out. It took a second to realize everything's changing."
Rod Beard: #Pistons Blake Griffin on no-trade clauses: "I want to play for an organization that wants me to play there; this is an organization that wants me to play here."
Rod Beard: #Pistons GM Jeff Bower: "This is a big day for our organization. Any time you can add high-quality individuals, it makes your organization a stronger, better place."
Ask around the NBA and you get a recurring sentiment: Clippers won, and big. “Great deal for L.A.,” an Eastern Conference GM told Yahoo Sports. “They were never going to win with Blake.” Added a Western Conference personnel scout, “Blake and DeAndre [Jordan] were a good frontcourt — [for] 2005. It’s a new game. And the way Griffin plays, he is hard to build a team around.”
"We had a nice run," Rivers said. "But we didn't get it done. It's funny how that will always be viewed, whether that was a great run, a good run. You win 57 games every year, you have multiple All-Stars, you're an exciting team to watch, but our goal was to win a title as a group, and that's the down part of this.
Chris Vernon: "I actually have some mutual friends with Blake Griffin and reached out to them last night. They told me he is intensely sad. He is just sad. It's nine years there, they promised him the world in the offseason. They gave him $173 million. They raised his jersey up in the rafters and did the mock museum of his life and said 'Clipper for Life' and all this kind of stuff. And you're less than six months down the road and he's gone."
Ben Golliver: Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan on Blake Griffin trade: “He was a teammate of mine for nine years. We had a lot of great times. He’ll be a friend of mine after basketball. It was definitely tough to see him go. I wish him nothing but the best.” pic.twitter.com/5eDOEpFGPQ
“It’s another example of players being pigeonholed with this idea of loyalty, sacrifice and all that kind of stuff when it comes to signing deals and where they want to play,” Curry said. “It’s not reciprocated on the other end consistently.”
James said he was "a little bit in shock" when he learned that Griffin, who re-signed with the Clippers on a five-year, $173 million deal this past summer, had been traded after spending his first seven-plus seasons in Los Angeles. "But you know the business, as unfortunate as it looks," James said. "You know the business. It is what it is."
Ben Golliver: Clippers’ Doc Rivers on Blake Griffin trade: “It came quick. It came out of nowhere. ... Before Blake got here this wasn’t a very good franchise ... we had a nice run and we didn’t get it done. Our goal was to win a title.”
Ben Golliver: Reflecting, Clippers’ Doc Rivers describes 2014 playoff loss to Thunder as the “beginning of the end” for the Paul/Griffin group and refers to 2015 playoff loss to Rockets as a “debacle”
Clippers coach Doc Rivers on what changed over the past eight months after the Clippers pitched Blake Griffin on being a Clipper for life: "Detroit's call. No, really. I mean, it's the truth. You have to be honest with yourself. ... If you're not good enough, or if you don't think you can beat them, or if you need more help, then you have to do something about it."
As the season went on, the Clippers became convinced that they not only weren’t a real contender this season, but wouldn’t be next season as well with the current roster. So they were amenable when the Pistons came to them in the last couple of weeks with a proposed deal for Griffin. Nonetheless, the mood Monday afternoon within the team was “terrible," according to a source.
Even after all that, though, the Clippers still were Griffin’s team, and he was still relevant in the L.A. That came to a sudden end Monday. “It was a (bleeping) hard decision,” one league source said Monday night, but one that puts the franchise on a new course -- its destination uncertain.
Marc Stein: The Blake Griffin-to-Detroit trade is on course to be finalized and announced tonight, league sources say
The Clippers and Pistons have discussed the deal for at least one week, according to multiple league sources. A fan tweeted that Griffin yelled “Nine fucking years!”—i.e., how long he’d been with the franchise that drafted him no. 1 overall out of Oklahoma—while running to the locker room before a game on January 22, right around the time trade discussions got serious.
There just wasn't a lot of demand for Griffin, according to sources around the league. Some good teams with big dreams were turned off by his contract. Most good teams are already too expensive to absorb it without sending out their best or second-best players.
The Lakers even have Brook Lopez's $22 million expiring contract to help match salaries. But they don't appear to have taken a serious look at Griffin, per league sources. Maybe it wouldn't have been workable; the Lakers already traded their 2018 first-round pick.
Gery Woelfel: I did a quick survey of six Bucks and 76ers players before the game on major Pistons-Clippers trade. All six felt the Clippers got the better of the deal. I think it's a great trade for both teams.
Sean Grande: Brad Stevens reaction to the Pistons-Clippers trade: "The first thing you think of is how it affects the East. Blake Griffin is a tremendous player. Then you look at your schedule how may times left you play them. They'll both be teams you’ll be more curious to turn on watching league pass."
Jorge Sierra: Blake Griffin is No. 10 in scoring, No. 12 in rebounds and No. 35 in assists in the NBA since 2010-11, his rookie season. He's, like, pretty good.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Clippers will continue to discuss contracts extensions at the right price, while engaging teams in trade talks on DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams. They'll try to do a hard thing in the NBA: Rebuild on the fly with younger players/picks, without gutting roster.
Ramona Shelburne: Third reaction to Clippers trading Blake Griffin. Their new front office of Jerry West, Lawrence Frank, Michael Winger has clearly convinced Steve Ballmer it's time for a rebuild. That's a huge step for the new group and Ballmer for listening. Question is: who has his ear?
Taking back the contracts of Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley and Boban Marjanovic now has the Clippers $629K below the luxury tax. The flexibility allows the Clippers to fill the 15th roster spot and stay below the tax. Tobias Harris has a current cap hit of $16M and $14.8M next season. Avery Bradley has a salary of $8.8M and will be a free agent with bird rights this summer. Boban Marjanovic has a cap hit of $7M this season and next year.
Tim Bontemps: The first round pick to the Clippers is protected for at least part of the lottery, per sources. This is a deal with a lot of layers, and a lot of future meaning. So much for a quiet deadline.
Chris Herring: Getting Blake Griffin is pretty damn good return for Tobias Harris, a first and a player who's going to command more than you want to pay this summer in FA. But Pistons have a LOT of long-term $ tied up in top-2 frontcourt guys now. Blake & Drummond alone eat up $60M in 2019-20 season
The Los Angeles Clippers proposed a blockbuster deal to the Minnesota Timberwolves involving forward Blake Griffin and center Karl-Anthony Towns, league sources told Basketball Insiders. The trade proposal didn’t advance past an exploratory call from the Clippers as Minnesota declined, league sources told Basketball Insiders.
November 27, 2020 | 3:42 pm EST Update
November 27, 2020 | 3:30 pm EST Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Jazz are sending G Rayjon Tucker and a future second-round pick to the Cavaliers for cash, sources tell ESPN.
Bobby Marks: Rayjon Tucker has $340K guaranteed (out of $1.5M) with the balance fully protected if he is not waived by Nov. 29. The Jazz open up a roster spot (now with 14) and save toward the tax. Good value with Cleveland on the 2027 second. Equal to paying $340K for a second.