The Brooklyn Nets have signed free agent forward Blake Griffin. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. “We’re fortunate to be able to add a player of Blake’s caliber to our roster at this point in the season,” said Nets General Manager Sean Marks. “Blake is a versatile frontcourt player with a long track record of success in our league, and we’re excited about the impact he’ll make for us both on and off the court in Brooklyn.”
Shams Charania: Blake Griffin is wearing No. 2 with the Nets. The six-time All-Star will earn $1.2M for the remainder of the season with Brooklyn.
Nets Daily: It's official. All three Nets 10-day contracts have expired, leaving them with 14 roster spots, one of which will be filled by @Blake Griffin. Nets can extend the three contracts for another 10 days but league sources there's no rush with team not returning to play til Thursday.
With Blake Griffin committing to the Nets on a minimum deal (Sean Marks has done it again!) after a buyout with the Detroit Pistons, the pair of Brooklyn superstars were naturally asked about the big news. James Harden gave a brief synopsis of what to expect. “I’m sure he wants to win. If he’s passed up more money to obviously stay in Detroit, he wants to win and he wants to have an opportunity to play meaningful minutes, and I’m assuming that’s one of the reasons why he came,” said Harden. “Obviously, we know the athletic and high-jumping Blake. But as of these last couple of years, he’s knocking down the three-ball a little bit better, the ball-handling is a lot better. He can be a great contribution to this team.”
Griffin informed Nets general manager Sean Marks of his decision to join Brooklyn's championship chase on Sunday evening, a reunion of sorts with his old Los Angeles Clippers teammate DeAndre Jordan.
Bobby Marks: Because Brooklyn will be in the luxury tax in 2021-22, the most they could offer Blake Griffin as a FA is the $5.9M tax ML. However, Griffin will earn $29.8M from Detroit next year and has $255M in career earnings.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent forward Blake Griffin has agreed to a deal with the Brooklyn Nets for the rest of the season, his agent Sam Goldfeder of @excelbasketball tells ESPN.
Shams Charania: Blake Griffin has cleared free agency waivers and the six-time NBA All-Star is expected to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Michael Scotto: James Harden on Blake Griffin: “We haven’t acquired anybody yet, so I can answer that later if it happens, but we all know how exciting Blake Griffin is and the player he is.”
Bobby Marks: With Blake Griffin clearing waivers at 5PM ET. on Sunday, below is what team has available in money to offer: 🏀BKN (open roster spot): $5.34M Tax ML (up to 3 years), $5.7M Disabled Player Exception (1 year), Vet minimum (up to 2 years). 🏀GSW (no open roster spot): $9.25M Disabled Player Exception (1 year), $3.25M Tax ML (up to 3 years), Vet minimum (up to 2 years). 🏀POR (open roster spot): $3.4M Biannual (up to 2 years), Vet minimum (up to 2 years). 🏀MIA (no open roster spot): $3.4M Biannual (up to 2 years), $4.7M Disabled (1 year), Vet minimum (up to 2 years). 🏀LAL (open roster spot): Vet minimum (up to 2 years).
The point is probably moot — sources have confirmed that Brooklyn appears to be the leader to gain Griffin’s employment. But for a second, let’s consider Griffin’s case to join the Lakers — and what it means for the team going forward in trades and buyout possibilities.
Blake Griffin isn’t the Knicks’ cup of tea at the moment. As he gets bought out by the Pistons, The Post has learned the Knicks will pass on the former All-Star dunk master.
Shams Charania: Sources: Blake Griffin gave back $13.3 million in his buyout with the Pistons. He had $75M on his deal for this season and 2021-22. The six-time All-Star will clear waivers on Sunday and the Brooklyn Nets are the leaders to sign him.
James Edwards III: Per sources, the #Pistons will not stretch the money owed to Blake Griffin, will eat this year and next. Detroit is in rebuild mode and has three draft picks as of now in 2021.
Marc Stein: The Pistons have announced their buyout agreement with Blake Griffin, which will make him an unrestricted free agent Sunday at 5 PM when he clears waivers.
Rod Beard: Blake Griffin in statement announcing his buyout: “I thank the #Pistons organization for working together on an outcome that benefits all involved and I wish the franchise success in the future.”
On the campaign, Griffin’s numbers in 2020-21 have been modest, to say the least: 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per contest on paltry shooting splits of 36.5/31.5/71.0 over 20 games. The catch-all analytics paint a similarly grim picture, as Griffin ranks 362nd in Value Over Replacement Player (-0.1) this season, 309th in Box Plus/Minus (-2.6) and 381st in Win Shares per 48 Minutes (0.026), almost unfathomable marks considering Griffin was an All-Star putting up almost 25 points nightly just two seasons ago. And yet, big teams are still going to come hard after Griffin’s services. The question is: Why?
That answer could have partly to do with Griffin’s point-per-possession marks, which aren’t quite as ugly as his other marks in 2020-21. Taking a look at Synergy Sports, we can see Griffin is still an ‘excellent’ point producer as a pick-and-roll ball-handler and a ‘very good’ scorer in transition and as the roll man in pick-and-roll sets. That type of versatile scoring is hard to find, particularly players who can produce as both the creator and finisher in all-important pick-and-roll sets, so crucial in the modern NBA.
Griffin’s most effective play type this season by far has been as the pick-and-roll ball-handler, unique for a traditional power forward. Out of those sets, Griffin has posted 38 possessions and produced 43 points, good for a 1.132 point-per-possession (PPP) mark, which places him in the 93rd percentile league-wide, per Synergy, in what’s considered the ‘excellent’ range. The minimal sample size needs to be taken into account, but just for fun, let’s look at what top forwards are posting in the same pick-and-roll ball-handler play type this season, according to Synergy: First-time All-Star Zion Williamson is right behind Griffin in PPP at 1.108, Kevin Durant is even further behind at 1.011 PPP while LeBron James is at 0.917 PPP on that play type this season.
What’s more, in transition opportunities this season, Griffin has scored 20 points on 16 chances, good for 1.125 PPP, placing him in the 74th percentile in the NBA this year, per Synergy. Meanwhile, as the roll man, he’s produced 12 points on just 10 opportunities, a 1.2 PPP mark, one that puts him in the NBA’s 70th percentile.
Additionally, the fact that Griffin is still finishing 61.2 percent of his shot attempts from within five feet of the basket, a higher clip than far more explosive wings in Aaron Gordon (59.0 percent) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (59.0 percent), or even than first-time All-Star power forward Julius Randle (57.6 percent), further indicates that Griffin likely has more left in the tank than his raw and advanced statistics would let on.
Mike Mazzeo: There is mutual interest between Blake Griffin and the Nets, as others have reported. More important -- should the two sides complete a deal -- is James Harden remaining an MVP-caliber player and Kevin Durant getting healthy.
Shams Charania: The Brooklyn Nets are believed to be leaders to sign six-time All-Star Blake Griffin, sources tell me and @JLEdwardsIII . Rival teams with interest are expecting Griffin to choose Nets as a title favorite for chance to win a championship.
Finding a trade for Griffin -- who was owed a remaining $36.6 million this season, and $39 million in 2021-2022 prior to the buyout -- was an insurmountable challenge for the Pistons. Detroit finalized a reduction in his remaining salary to gain free agency with Griffin's agent, Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports, since the sides mutually agreed he would leave the active roster on February 15 awaiting a trade or a buyout.
When Griffin entered the N.B.A., star players weren’t as likely to switch teams through free agency or to demand trades as they are today. Now the environment has shifted, but Griffin, who can opt out of his contract after this season, insisted he is happy with the Pistons, despite their uncertain championship prospects. Griffin said that the organization has been “nothing but unbelievable” and “very supportive.” He demurred when asked about the possibility of free agency. “It’s not a decision that I have to make in the immediate future,” Griffin said. “And I know, I’m sorry, I’m just kind of running around that question, but it’s just true. Things can change.”
Marks goes on to explain how that would impact the Pistons in the short-term: “Two teams told ESPN that the provision would help a franchise like the Detroit Pistons the most. Blake Griffin will count against their cap for $36.8 million and $38.9 million in the next two seasons. With this proposal, Detroit could amnesty Griffin and have over $50 million in room; without the provision it would have less than $20 million in space under a flat cap.”
They were sitting in a meeting on the eve of free agency, when one of the NBA’s icons captured the room for Blake Griffin. With owner Steve Ballmer, coach Doc Rivers and Los Angeles Clippers teammates, Jerry West captivated Griffin, who made clear his desire to return. West had been hired as a special consultant with the Clippers, and the first task he had embraced was persuading Griffin to re-sign with Los Angeles. For all of the voices in the final meeting before midnight, West’s resonated, and Blake returned.
“Jerry had a major voice to me, and he’s had an influence in coming and working on the culture here,” Griffin told The Vertical. “This franchise had unfinished business, and I had unfinished business here. We had unfinished business together and I valued that. We laid it out there that no matter what was going on around us, both sides hadn’t accomplished what we set out for. I couldn’t abandon this now.”
Marc J. Spears: Clippers employees wore T-shirt after Blake Griffin's FA meeting likening him to MLK, Obama, Ali, JFK, Lincoln, Gandhi, MJ,Einstein,Mandela. pic.twitter.com/BZtXqhdrWr
David Aldridge: Steve Ballmer was not letting Blake Griffin walk after CP3 trade. Would have been hard to keep both, but Clips pulled out the stops for BG.
Ramona Shelburne: Can confirm Blake Griffin & Clippers have agreed on a 5-$173 deal. @Brad Turner first. He did not get a no trade clause, per sources
Shams Charania: Blake Griffin plans to reach agreement on a five-year, $173 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell The Vertical.
Brad Turner: Blake Griffin met with Steve Ballmer, Doc Rivers, Jerry West today at Staples Center, "meeting went well. Expected to sign a deal."
Brad Turner: Clippers Jamal Crawford, DeAndre Jordan, Pat Beverley, Wes Johnson, Sam Dekker were at meeting at Staples Center, per source.
Sam Amick: Blake Griffin has canceled meetings w/ Phoenix & Denver, I'm told. Barring wildcard team swooping in, sense is a return to Clippers coming.
Eddie Sefko: Whispers of several teams doing some tire-kicking on Blake Griffin. Many of them among the ones who have (or can get) huge cap space.
The Boston Celtics have had a tricky time nailing down a meeting with free agent Blake Griffin because of clashing priorities, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The source told MassLive.com Friday afternoon that Griffin is said to prefer exploring his options early in the free agency period. That has made things difficult with the Celtics, who have other priorities, like the pursuit of Gordon Hayward and potentially a trade for Paul George.
While Griffin is on the short list of the league’s most coveted free agents, with Phoenix, Miami, and Boston among the known suitors and a plan in place to start meeting teams in Los Angeles on Saturday, the Clippers executive vice president of basketball operations made it clear that keeping him is their top priority. “We wanted them both back,” Frank told USA TODAY Sports of Paul and Griffin in a visit on the NBA A to Z podcast on Thursday. “Chris decided to leave, so that doesn't change (how they view Griffin). For Blake, Blake's in a very, very unique situation in that Blake was the first pick of the Clippers (in 2009).
Bill Oram: Clippers plan to informally meet with Blake Griffin's agent before start of free agency tomorrow. He remains their top priority.
Brad Turner: Blake Griffin scheduled to meet with Phoenix Suns Saturday, per source. Suns can offer BG 4 year deal, $130 million. Ramona Shelburne: Clippers want to keep him, but there's some question about whether they'll offer full 5-year max.
Free agent forwards Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap will meet with the Phoenix Suns after the NBA free agency moratorium period begins Saturday, reports John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station. Gambadoro reports the 28-year-old Griffin will meet with Phoenix this weekend. An unrestricted free agent, Griffin could be more likely to find a new home after the Los Angeles Clippers dealt All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets this week.
Brad Turner: Blake Griffin scheduled to meet with Phoenix Suns Saturday, per source. Suns can offer BG 4 year deal, $130 million.
The Clippers are of the understanding that it will take a five-year deal to keep Griffin, a source told Shelburne.
Complicating the matter however, sources told ESPN's Michael Eaves, is that Griffin may not be ready for the start of the next season and could possibly be out until December due to a toe injury that cut short his postseason. A separate source told Shelburne the team believes Griffin's toe will be healed and he'll likely be ready for the start of the season.
Ramona Shelburne: And yes, this does mean Clippers are focused on retaining Blake Griffin in free agency, per league sources.
Jeff Goodman: Clippers like the upside of Sam Dekker, the toughness of Patrick Beverly and the short-term contracts of both Beverly and Lou Williams. Source said Clippers will go after a big wing in free agency, and try and retain Blake Griffin.
Jerry West says his new role with the L.A. Clippers DOES NOT require him to get involved in the efforts to resign Blake Griffin and Chris Paul ... telling TMZ Sports, "It's not my responsibility." West was playing coy when we saw him leaving Caffe Roma in Bev Hills on Tuesday -- saying it's up to other key members of the organization to bring in the players ... "I'm just an adviser."
If Boston can’t acquire Hayward, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin could be a substitute in this free-agency plan to sign a star and then trade for George, league sources told The Vertical.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, have made upgrading at power forward one of their offseason priorities, which is why they covet Love. Denver, according to sources, also hopes to crash the list of suitors for Los Angeles Clippers unrestricted free agent Blake Griffin and Atlanta Hawks unrestricted free agent Paul Millsap.
As expected, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, a five-time All-Star forward, has exercised the early termination option on his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told The Vertical.
Griffin, 28, is a cornerstone player for the Clippers, a priority for them to re-sign this summer. Boston, Houston and Miami are among multiple possible free-agent destinations for Griffin, who’ll also consider returning to the Clippers.
Bobby Marks: Blake Griffin will still count $29.7m (cap hold) against the Clippers. Cap hold is released if Griffin signs with a new team.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin has opted out of his contract to become a free agent.
The Houston Rockets are aggressively trying to make trades in conjunction with Thursday's NBA draft to create the needed financial flexibility this summer to pursue a marquee free agent, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN on Wednesday that the Rockets have at least four top-tier free agents in their summer sights: Atlanta's Paul Millsap, Toronto's Kyle Lowry and the LA Clippers duo of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Should power forward Blake Griffin bolt during free agency next month, rival executives believe the Jordan relocation pursuit would only intensify. The Clippers, desperate for youth and athleticism, averaged out as the oldest team in the league last season and are without a single pick in the upcoming draft.
There’s all kinds of work to do before then, like re-signing James’ close friend/Clippers point guard Chris Paul this summer (which is still believed to be likely) and convincing five-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin to come back too (which is considered more dicey).
Asked Sunday on "Pardon My Take" for his four favorite NBA cities, Griffin listed (in descending order): New York, Phoenix, Toronto, and Boston. The latter is easily the most intriguing, as the Celtics are rumored to covet the five-time All-Star and reportedly plan to pursue him in free agency. The 28-year-old big man didn't elaborate on his Beantown pick, but when one of the podcast hosts referred to the city's racist history, Griffin, who's half black, replied: "Definitely half of me loves it."
When asked jokingly whether only "half" of him likes Boston –– Griffin is 50 percent black –– he briefly touched on the city's racial history. "Half of me loves it," he said. "The other half is hit-and-miss. It depends on who I run into. It depends on what story I'm reading about people being heckled at a Red Sox game."
On a podcast published Wednesday, Wojnarowski broke down the Clippers' complicated situation, which includes the free agency of three starters, Griffin, Chris Paul and J.J. Redick. While doing so, the great reporter suggested the Celtics have a realistic chance to pry Griffin away. "Blake Griffin, and I think the Clippers may think this too, and certainly some other teams, Boston is really the danger for Blake Griffin," Wojnarowski said. "I think Boston's two primary free-agent targets right now are Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin. Now they're not going to get both of them, but they're both players who would potentially have interest there, and who Boston I think looks at in different ways with their future.
"So the one thing to know about Blake Griffin, he was (in Boston) when Paul Pierce came in with the Clippers for his last game in Boston, Blake was obviously there with the team. He saw how Boston reacted to Paul Pierce and what it means to have been a great player in Boston. Now, Blake doesn't have enough left in his career to be beloved and be the all-time Celtic that Paul Pierce was, but it does give you a sense - and I know it gave Blake a sense, it did not go unnoticed with him - about how that building and that city and the way they loved Paul. And I'm sure Paul being around the last couple years with him, I'm sure they discussed it.
At least one NBA veteran sees the Miami Heat as a potential Plan B in free agency when it comes to Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin. The question therefore could become whether Pat Riley again allows his team to be put on hold, as was the case last summer with the failed pursuit of Kevin Durant, who instead can be found in this week's NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors. Although he ultimately expects his former teammate to sign back with the Clippers, Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley said if Griffin does decide to head elsewhere that the Heat could be the best alternative. "Miami," Dudley said on an ESPN podcast, "is the only case scenario to be able to do if you say, 'Hey, you know what, I want to be the man of the team.' "
"My whole thing is of where you want to live at?" said Dudley, who spent 2013-14 as Griffin's Clippers teammate. "He lives in L.A., which he loves, Miami is a good place. So Miami is understandable: Pat Riley, they would make the playoffs with him, so that's the only one I could somewhat see. "You're not going to Dallas if you're Blake Griffin. You’re not going to Houston. New York Knicks? You're not going there."
According to several NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter because of the sensitively of contract talks, the Clippers hope to re-sign Paul and Griffin after both exercise their early terminations.
Jovan Buha: Doc Rivers was noncommittal when asked if in an ideal world bringing back Chris Paul and Blake Griffin would be the best path for LA: pic.twitter.com/dwpX72jP8q
The Clippers and Griffin hope to work out a maximum deal, according to NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Griffin's return is less certain, sources say. This summer is his first foray into unrestricted free agency. Given his snakebitten tenure with the team and the possibility of another early exit, the prospect of exploring what's out there will be alluring. One premise volunteered in good humor suggests that Paul is more likely to take a slew of meetings in a public process but ultimately re-sign with the Clippers, while Griffin is more likely to mull the decision privately under the guise of night, but announce he'll be playing elsewhere in 2017-18.
THE CLIPPERS FACE A RECKONING this summer when Paul, Griffin and Redick enter free agency. Ballmer says the Clippers don't have any interest at present of blowing it up. "I love those guys, and I want those guys back," Ballmer says, adding that he's amenable to swallowing a large luxury-tax bill, which would come due with new contracts for his players. "If we're in it and we're playing for a championship, I don't mind the tax," Ballmer says.
Griffin is out for the playoffs with a toe injury. "Griffin is still a significant part of the Clippers' future. Management remains committed to signing him to a long-term deal this summer, league sources tell me," said Adrian Wojnarowski in a video essay. "In a lot of ways, Griffin has been most loyal to the Clippers' brand. He has never had wanderlust, never floated ideas about leaving town. Truth be told, he's accommodated Paul in every way. Broadened his own game, grown as a leader and taken a lot of unfair finger pointing and blame once the All-Star point guard became the face of the franchise."
Steve Kyler: There's this perception (Blake Griffin) would want to go back to Oklahoma City, but I've talked to people around that and they find that so laughable. Like, "Look, it's where he's from, but he doesn't want to play there." It's nothing against the city, it's Blake has found an interesting and fulfilling life living in L.A.
Bobby Marks: Griffin has a $21.4m (Early Termination Option) for 17-18. Opt-out date is on or before June 28. Max salary slot is $30.3m for next season.
The 31-year-old Paul and the 28-year-old Griffin will be seeking maximum-salary contracts, deals that would respectively start at approximately $35 million and $30 million annually. Redick, the 32-year-old who was recruited by Rivers not long after he arrived from the Boston Celtics in the summer of 2013, is sure to land a massive payday as well. Working projections peg the total at approximately $196 million in all, with $140 million in salaries and $56 million in luxury tax (and Redick, in that scenario, having a starting salary of approximately $18 million).
You guys have done a great job of not letting free agency become a distraction. With some teams, having one star approaching free agency can lead to a circus. This team has two, with you and Chris Paul both free agents this summer. With that said, it hasn’t seemed to be an issue or distraction. How have you maintained that? Blake Griffin: Honestly, our focus has just been on the season. And I know everyone uses that go-to answer, but it’s true. I can’t worry about a decision that I can’t make right now. We still have so much basketball left to play. The playoffs are about to start and this literally what we spent all last summer, the preseason and the regular season preparing for. We were preparing for this. To be focused on something else would be a travesty to the rest of my team, to my coaching staff, to our fans, to everybody. Those decisions and whatever happens in the summer will be there in the summer.
Have other players tried to recruit you at all? Because while you’re focused on this season, I know that does happen sometimes where guys from other teams will reach out. Without naming names, has anything like that happened? Blake Griffin: No, I haven’t had any conversations like that at all. Early on, I told everybody around me – agents, friends and family – that this isn’t something I’m going to be talking about and we’ll deal with it when the time comes. I think player-wise, I think everybody respects that you have a team and you’re focused on the season and all that.
After his 36 points carried the Clippers on Saturday, Griffin would not say whether he hopes to stay with the Clippers. “I’ve loved my time here, absolutely,” Griffin said. “But my main focus right now is the season. I said this before the season, I’m not doing the whole free agency talk. I’m not talking about any decision I can’t make right now. Like I said my main focus is getting this team right and moving forward and being right heading into the playoffs.”
That Griffin would also stay and reap the biggest payday he can seems likely, too—in theory. But more and more people around the league believe he would be open to a fresh start—perhaps with the Lakers or the Boston Celtics, who have coveted Griffin for years and would offer a new chance to win.
April 19, 2021 | 9:26 pm EDT Update
April 19, 2021 | 8:15 pm EDT Update
Nick DePaula: At 6:36 AM today I received a text: “Vanessa Bryant did not renew contract. Kobe and Nike are done.” I’ve been working since to confirm what this means ahead for the Nike / Kobe Bryant partnership. As of right now — there is no ongoing contract for future Kobe releases. pic.twitter.com/5vuyQg6Gw6