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Blake Griffin pulled out by Pistons amid trade and contract rumors | Bleacher report

Boston Celtics' Daniel Theiss (27) and Peyton Pritchard (11) defended Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons (23) during the second half of the NBA basketball game, Friday February 12, 2021, in Boston.  (AP Photo / Michael Dwyer)

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

The Blake Griffin The Detroit era appears to be over.

Both Griffin and the team announced Monday that the veteran striker will be knocked out of the squad to move forward, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarovsky Report that ” Pistons “He will continue to pursue trade scenarios involving Griffin, and ultimately the focus may be on talks regarding a contract purchase deal with his agent Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports.”

Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver told Woj:

“After an intense conversation with the representatives of Blake, it was decided that we would start working to facilitate a solution on his future with the team that maximized the interests of both parties. We respect all the efforts Blake made in Detroit and his career and will work towards a positive outcome for everyone involved.”

Griffin added in a statement: “I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to achieve in my professional life and working together on the best way forward.”

The 31-year-old will be tough trading. In general, when aging stars – or former stars, depending on whether you think Griffin’s struggles this year are tough or new normal – have huge contracts like Griffin, the teams trying to engage with them can make two kinds of moves:

  • Make an equally large contract with another player. Consider trading Russell Westbrook for John Wall.
  • Distribute it to a team with salary cap space to accommodate the big player’s contract. In general, you are also part of some asset like young players or draft picks in such a deal.

Both scenarios would be difficult for the Pistons to succeed. The former is difficult for two reasons. First, Griffin is really struggling this year, with an average of 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while he was shooting 36.5 percent of the field. It wasn’t much better last year, as he scored 15.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game while he was shooting 35.2 per cent of the field.

It’s hard to market Griffin as a star at this point. A series of injuries simply turned him into a fluke for his previous self, which included five all-star matches in his first six seasons. Maybe a new environment will benefit him more, but the Pistons won’t get much return for him based on his gameplay.

Dealing with him becomes even more difficult when you take into account his $ 36.5 million contract for this season or the $ 38.9 million player option for next year who’ll be wielding it completely. Even if I could find a suitable player versus player at a bargain – let’s say the San Antonio Spurs wanted to walk away from struggling LaMarcus Aldridge (14.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 47.6 FG) and were willing to roll the dice at Griffin, hoping he would be able to Work his way closer to his previous level – matching money will be tough.

Aldridge, for example, is earning $ 24 million this season. San Antonio had to throw another player into the deal to make the money work. But most teams will likely see Griffin as a passive asset due to the contract-to-production ratio they get.

Westbrook, for example, averaged 27.2 points last season. The biggest concern with the 30-year-old Wall was that he was returning from an injury-lost season and may have lost part of his blast. He was still playing at a high level prior to that injury.

But the Pistons probably won’t be interested in ditching the assets to dump the Griffin contract, either. They are rebuilding. If anything, they would likely prefer to be the team that gets the assets in exchange for using the roof space to accommodate bad contracts in the short term.

Given Griffin’s lowdown and mega-decade, the Pistons mission is equivalent to trying to fire pRoton torpedoes in the exhaust port. First-year general manager Troy Weaver will need some serious mental tricks from Jedi on this, especially given that the acquisition path is not perfect unless Griffin is willing to cut a significant portion of his salary.

It seems unlikely that Griffin would want to throw away that much. It appears unlikely that the Pistons would want to throw away that much money without getting anything in return. And if nothing else, the imminent prospect of a takeover reduces Detroit’s influence in business talks. If Griffin has just become a free agent in the buyout market, why not wait?

It’s a tough situation for the Pistons and Griffin, but they’re now committed to finding it out after Monday’s news.

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