The Blake Griffin era is over. Griffin and the Detroit Pistons have mutually agreed to a buyout, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Griffin’s representation and the Pistons agreed to a “reduction in his remaining salary,” Wojnarowski writes, but specific details have not been disclosed.
It is no surprise no trade could be found once Griffin and the Pistons mutually decided his Detroit days were over on Feb. 15. Griffin is owed roughly $51 million including his $38.9 million player option for next season. His play is nowhere close to matching his salary as injuries have sapped him of his athleticism.
Griffin is in the midst of the worst season of his career, averaging 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists, and zero dunks on the season. The Pistons have moved into a full rebuilding stage and were anxious to find more time for their young big men including rookie Isaiah Stewart and forward Sekou Doumbouya.
The most interesting questions from the Pistons perspective are: 1. How much money is Blake giving back to earn his freedom? 2. Will the Pistons eat that remaining salary all of this season and next, or will they stretch it out and spread the pain over the next three seasons?
Yesterday, I made the case it made much more sense financially and from a competitive standpoint to front-load all of the financial burden into this year and next.
As an unrestricted free agent, Griffin is sure to have a number of suitors, probably as a bench scorer who can pass the ball. Marc Stein of the New York Times reports that the Lakers, Clippers, Nets, Heat and Warriors are among the teams interested in Griffin.