Former No. 1 overall pick Blake Griffin will sign with the Brooklyn Nets, according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The decision ends a short saga that began with the six-time All Star agreeing to a buyout deal with the Detroit Pistons just earlier this week. Although a few other competitors were expected to make a run at Griffin, Brooklyn will bring in the 31-year-old front-court star.
The move will solidify the Nets as the favorite in the Eastern Conference going into the second half of the NBA regular season. Griffin will join a high-powered scoring trio of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden with his sights set on his first NBA title. All four players were former top-three picks in their respective draft classes.
However, Griffin has seen his career derailed by injuries since he arrived in the league from Oklahoma. During the 2020-21 season, at the age of 31, he’s averaged just 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game for Detroit.
Even so, the Nets will receive a proven veteran and five-time member of the All-NBA team. Basketball fans were incredulous that Brooklyn pulled off the move for Griffin and took to social media to commiserate.
… and now Blake Griffin.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) March 7, 2021
Blake Griffin right now: pic.twitter.com/0EZkKuIrf8
— Leb 🦋 (@PlayboiClaxton) March 7, 2021
Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan reuniting in Brooklyn like pic.twitter.com/wjyAIvJHNa
— #RingerNBA (@ringernba) March 7, 2021
Nets fans 5 years ago if you told them the Nets would have Harden, KD, Kyrie, DJ, and Blake Griffin pic.twitter.com/Mgb0c9kKnK
— Talkin’ Nets (@TalkinNets) March 7, 2021
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) March 7, 2021
Griffin should be able to contribute to the Nets offensively, but doesn’t exactly address the team’s glaring needs on defense. The 31-year-old stands at just six-foot-nine and has never been considered to be a reliable post defender. Griffin will still be a threat on offense and the beneficiary of the talented trio around him.
The Nets entered the mid-season break at 24-13, just a half game behind the Philadelphia 76ers who hold the top spot in the East. Most impressively, Brooklyn has reached that mark without having their “Big Three” play together for most of the year. With Irving’s hiatus, Harden’s late arrival and Durant’s injuries, the trio hasn’t even really gotten to develop chemistry.
Now, the Nets will welcome a fourth multi-time All-Star to the mix in Griffin. With plenty of time to go until the postseason, Brooklyn will focus on getting their super-team on the court together over the next few months.