AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has acquired five-time NBA All-Star Blake Griffin, center Willie Reed and forward Brice Johnson from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for guard Avery Bradley, forward Tobias Harris, center Boban Marjanovic, a future protected first-round draft choice and a future second round draft choice.
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“We are serious about winning, and this is a major move to improve our team,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “Blake Griffin is one of the NBA’s elite players, and when you get an opportunity to add that kind of talent, you take it. The move is not without risk. We gave up a lot to get him, including Tobias Harris -- one of the hardest working, highest-character players I know -- and two high quality young men in Avery Bradley and Boban Marjanovic. But we are very excited to bring Blake Griffin to Detroit. He is a great fit for our team and will bring a combination of toughness and athleticism that will elevate our team and excite our fans.”
“We’re pleased to welcome Blake Griffin, Willie Reed and Brice Johnson to the Detroit Pistons,” said President and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy. “Blake has been an All-NBA performer, he’s a five-time all-star and a player that commands attention whenever he’s on the floor. His presence will help us offensively and his size gives us another rebounder and weapon in the paint. Willie Reed and Brice Johnson are two young players that give us size and depth. On the flip side, I thank Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic for their efforts and wish them the best moving forward.”
The Clippers issued a written statement from chairman Steve Ballmer:
“Blake Griffin had a tremendous impact on this organization and his legacy within the community of Los Angeles will be permanent. It was a pleasure getting to know and cheer for Blake. I wish him, as well as Brice and Willie, the best of luck. While change is hard, my confidence in our front office, led by Lawrence Frank and Michael Winger, along with the sage counsel of Jerry West, has never been higher. I believe today, more than ever, in our ultimate goal of winning an NBA Championship,”
Added Lawrence Frank, president of the Clippers' Basketball Operations:
“Blake is one of the best players ever to wear a Clippers jersey. We want to express our gratitude and respect for everything he has done for this team and the City of Los Angeles. This was a very difficult decision, but we ultimately felt it was appropriate for the franchise. We would also like to thank Brice and Willie for their contributions to our organization."
Griffin, 28, has appeared in 33 games this season for Los Angeles (all starts) averaging 22.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 5.4 assists in 34.5 minutes per game. He’s scored in double-figures 32 times, recorded 20-plus points 24 times and 30-plus points three times, including a season-high 33 points at Sacramento (11/25).
Thanks so much to @blakegriffin32 for all he did for the @LAClippers He is an incredible player and an incredible person. He made our team into a real franchise and deserves a ton of credit. I wish him all the very very best— Steve Ballmer (@Steven_Ballmer) January 30, 2018
Detroit, From the day I got here it’s been nothing but love. I want to thank every last one of… https://t.co/j0aAz3KhXX— Tobias Harris (@tobias31) January 30, 2018
Griffin has recorded five double-doubles this season while shooting 44.1% from the field, 34.2% from three-point range and 78.5% from the free throw line. The 6-foot-10 forward has appeared in 504 career games (224 starts) in seven-plus seasons with the Clippers, holding career averages of 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 35.1 minutes per game. In 51 career playoff games (50 starts), Griffin has averages of 21.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 35.5 minutes per game.
The former Oklahoma product holds a long list of NBA superlatives, first capturing the NBA’s T-Mobile Rookie of the Year award in 2010 while winning NBA Rookie of the Month honors six times and NBA All-Rookie First Team honors that same year. Griffin earned All-NBA Second Team honors three times (2012, 2013, 2014), All-NBA Third Team honors once (2015) and won the Sprite Slam Dunk Championship at NBA All-Star 2011. He finished third in the NBA’s Most Valuable Player voting during the 2014 season when he averaged 24.1 points (6th in the NBA), 9.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.1 steals in 35.8 minutes per game.
On November 11, 2016, Griffin played in his 420th NBA game and became the fastest player to record 9,000 points, 4,000 rebounds and 1,500 assists since Larry Bird (398 games). He also joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as just the second player in NBA history to average at least 21-plus points, nine-plus rebounds, four-plus assists and shoot 50 percent or better from the field in his first 500 career NBA games (1/20/18). Earlier this season (11/10), Griffin became the sixth-fastest player in NBA history to record 10,000 points, 4,000 rebounds and 2,000 assists (Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Chris Webber).
Reed, 27, has appeared in 39 games this season (five starts) averaging 4.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.56 blocks in 10.7 minutes per game. The 6-foot-11 center has career averages of 5.0 points and 3.9 rebounds in 149 games with Brooklyn and Miami. The former Saint Louis University product averaged 5.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.66 blocks and 14.5 minutes in 71 games with the Miami HEAT last season while shooting 56.8 percent from the field.
Johnson, 23, was drafted by the Clippers out of North Carolina with the 25th selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-10 forward has appeared in nine games this season, averaging 1.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 4.2 minutes per game. As a senior for the Tar Heels (2015-16), Johnson became the fifth North Carolina player in the last 39 years to average a double-double for the season. He was a consensus First Team All-America selection and was named Most Valuable Player of the NCAA East Region, becoming the first Tar Heel to score 20 points and grab 10 rebounds in three consecutive NCAA Tournament games. Johnson led the ACC and ranked fifth in the nation with a UNC-record 23 double-doubles.
Bradley, 27, appeared in 40 games this season (all starts) with Detroit and averaged 15.0 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.15 steals in 31.7 minutes per game. The 6-foot-2 guard was in his first season in Detroit after being acquired along with a future 2019 second round draft pick in exchange for forward Marcus Morris.
Harris, 25, appeared in 48 games this season (all starts) with Detroit and averaged 18.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 32.6 minutes per game. The 6-foot-9 forward has connected on 113 three-pointers this season, setting his career-high in just 48 games. The Long Island native was acquired by Detroit from Orlando in exchange for Brandon Jennings and Ersan Illyasova on February 16, 2016.
Marjanovic, 29, appeared in 19 games with Detroit this season (one start) averaging 6.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 9.0 minutes per game. He signed with Detroit as a restricted free agent on July 26, 2016.