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.
The two teams have been pegged by rival teams as sellers. Sources tell me and The Athletic’s James Edwards III that the Pistons are expected to work toward a contract buyout with forward Blake Griffin, and sharpshooter Wayne Ellington is expected to receive interest from contending teams.
It'll be a buyout. This is a given. It'll be a buyout at some point. When they get to that stage, and he's a free agent, he's still a guy who is a really smart player, who has become a really great playmaker late in his career, a great passer out of the post and on the perimeter, who can still get by some guys, can knock down a jumper and has a little bit of range. So I think he can be a useful player—a rotation guy. But not a starter on a good team, likely a bench guy. And we can talk about possible destinations, but I think there are a few times that could use him.
Soon enough, Detroit will come to accept that and will more than likely buy the veteran forward out. If and when that becomes the case, Griffin's market is expected to flourish. According to Sports Illustrated's own Howard Beck, the Philadelphia 76ers are one of a handful of teams who could look into getting Griffin in a Sixers uniform on a minimum deal after a buyout.
“If Blake is bought out, there would be significant interest, but how much of a savings is Blake willing to take?” as an executive for a current Eastern Conference playoff team told HoopsHype. “He could provide a spark off of the bench. If he’s healthy, he could start if the team had a need, but he’s probably more of a rotation player right now.”
September 27, 2021 | 12:09 pm EDT Update
Noah Levick: Joel Embiid on Ben Simmons: “If I didn’t love playing with Ben Simmons, I’m honest, I would say it.” Embiid says it’s time for the Sixers to take the next step and emphasizes he’s disappointed with the current situation (Simmons not being here).
Derek Bodner: Embiid says he’s disappointed that Simmons situation has deteriorated. “I really hope he changes his mind..I do love playing with him because he adds so much to our team. We’ve been building this team around us. I don’t see it as ‘This is my team’. I don’t care about any of that”
Tom Moore: #Sixers star center Joel Embiid on his personal relationship with Ben Simmons: ‘I think last year we were closer than before.’
Josh Lewenberg: Pascal Siakam: “For me, I really don’t like the word(s) ‘The Guy’. I don’t even like using that. I want to be the guy that wins. I wanna win. That’s all I care about… Whatever I can do to help the team win, that’s what I wanna do.”
Josh Lewenberg: Goran Dragic says he’s been in Toronto for a couple weeks, getting to know the city and his new teammates. He’s looking forward to being a mentor to the younger guys, wants to do for them what Steve Nash did for him in Phoenix. pic.twitter.com/nZQoLz7uX6