The Detroit Pistons are heading towards a complete rebuild, which makes their star forward Blake Griffin an odd man out. This is why the two sides have recently started exploring options for Griffin’s future, including trade and contract buyout scenarios, according to the Pistons general manager Troy Weaver.
Speaking with ESPN on Monday, Weaver said that the franchise will prioritize finding a trade partner for Griffin. If that isn’t an option, the two sides might engage in buyout talks.
“We respect all the effort Blake has put forth in Detroit and his career and will work to achieve a positive outcome for all involved,” said Weaver.
While waiting for a resolution, Griffin will be out of the lineup, which means that he played his last game for the Pistons. The 31-year-old veteran has averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists in the 20 games he played this season.
“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,” said Griffin in a statement.
Trading Griffin will be a tough task for the Pistons. He has been in decline in recent seasons, meaning that teams will be reluctant to take on his contract, which pays him $36.6 million in 2020-21 and $39 million in 2021-22.
The most likely scenario is that Griffin agrees to a contract buyout while leaving some money on the table. This would allow him to pick his new destination and join a contender.
Blake Griffin joined the Detroit Pistons as a five-time All-Star in 2018 in a blockbuster trade from the LA Clippers. Griffin was supposed to be the face of the franchise and the player who would bring the Pistons back to contention, but things didn’t exactly work out that way.
During his time in Detroit, Griffin often dealt with injuries that limited his production and time on the court. He did deliver an All-Star campaign in 2018-19, leading the Pistons to the playoffs and averaging a career-high 24.5 points per game.