It looks like the Blake Griffin era in Detroit is close to coming to an end. The two sides took a big step toward a mutual parting on Monday.
The Pistons officially reached an agreement with Griffin to hold him out of the lineup until they can figure out his future. Griffin, who will turn 32 next month, has been hampered by injuries the last couple of seasons and has clearly declined, but has still managed to start 20 of 27 games this season.
Overall, Griffin is hoping to be moved to a contending team where he can contribute to a championship chase. His contract will make that challenging, but these things always have a way of working themselves out.
As news of Griffin’s situation spread, the reactions from around the NBA world began pouring in.
With Blake Griffin's days with the Pistons nearing the end, I'm reminded how the Clippers raised his jersey in a mock retirement ceremony, signed him to a max extension & 7 months later, traded him to Detroit. A year later, Steve Ballmer wanted a handshake pic.twitter.com/adCuoZf5Xw
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) February 15, 2021
Blake Griffin has a total of $53.7M owed to him for the remainder of 2020-21 and all of 2021-22.
Any contract can be moved but this one is the most challenging in the NBA.
Cap hit of $36.8M and $39M (player option).
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 15, 2021
Blake Griffin wants to play meaningful games. The Pistons are in a different direction, with young players who need minutes. Therefore, an amicable breakup was inevitable
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) February 15, 2021
The #Pistons and Blake Griffin have mutually decided that he will be out of the lineup until they figure out his future.
Griffin: “I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to accomplish in my career and for working together on the best path forward.”
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) February 15, 2021
The depressing second half of his career is going to make people forget how incredible Blake was through about 2016
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) February 15, 2021
Through 20 games with Detroit, Griffin is averaging a career-low 12.3 points per appearance, along with 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists. He’s shooting only 36.5 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from three-point range.
The hope for a team acquiring Griffin is he’ll be more effective in a smaller role and that his passing ability, which has been underrated during his career, will continue to play even as his athleticism declines.