The Detroit Pistons have decided to sit six-time All-Star Blake Griffin as the team and his representatives work to, “facilitate a resolution regarding his future with the team,” according to reporting from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
“After extensive conversation with Blake’s representatives, it has been determined that we will begin working to facilitate a resolution regarding his future with the team that maximizes the interests of both parties,” Pistons GM Troy Weaver told ESPN on Monday. “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.”
ESPN story on Blake Griffin and Pistons agreeing that he will be out of the lineup until the franchise and his reps can work through a resolution on his playing future: https://t.co/EHsnV9sED8
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2021
The Pistons reportedly will now facilitate trade offers for Griffin, who was acquired by the team from the LA Clippers in January of 2018.
“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,” Griffin said in a statement to ESPN.
The 31-year-old forward has started 20 games for Detroit this season and is averaging career lows for points (12.3), field goal attempts (11.1) and free throw attempts (3.1). For his career, the former No. 1 overall pick is averaging 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists. He played in just 18 games last season after requiring season-ending left-knee surgery.
Known for his athletic dunking prowess in his heyday, Griffin has not recorded a dunk in an NBA game since Dec. 12, 2019 — a span in which more than 440 other NBA players have gotten at least one dunk. If the Pistons are moving on from Griffin, one of his former teammates is reportedly also set to be traded. Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond — who played for Detroit from 2012-20 — is set to be moved soon per multiple reports.
“Blake’s track record, his playing resume, speaks for itself,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “Someday, the guy’s going to be a Hall of Famer. He’s one of the players that I’ve respected over the years. … He can be a piece to a contending team. I’ve been with contending teams and you’d love to have a guy like Blake Griffin on your team.”
Griffin has already reinvented himself once, so it’s not like he can’t do so again. Like many players in this 3-point era, he added that shot to his repertoire a few years back and it helped catapult him back to All-Star level in 2018-19 — he made 189 3’s that season, two shy from matching the total from his first eight seasons combined, and averaged 24.5 points.
The Pistons have played 93 games since. Griffin has missed 55 of them.
If the Pistons can’t find a trade for Griffin before the March 25 trade deadline, the team reportedly will consider buying out Griffin’s contract, which reportedly is worth $36.6 million this season and $39 million in 2021-2022.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.