| Detroit Free Press
It’s the end of the Blake Griffin era with the Detroit Pistons.
It wasn’t a particularly long (about three years) or fruitful (zero playoff wins) era, but… it existed. Until Friday.
Griffin, a six-time All-Star, agreed to a buyout with the Pistons, making him a free agent. The blockbuster trade former Pistons coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy pulled off in January 2018 — acquiring Griffin from the Los Angeles Clippers for three players and two draft picks — ends with the franchise paying Griffin not to play.
One of the players the Pistons traded, Tobias Harris, has been a borderline All-Star averaging better than 19 points a game over the past four seasons, and one of the draft picks the Pistons traded ended up being Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is averaging 23 points and six assists in his third season.
As sour a taste that may leave, it seems like a smart decision for all involved (even if Griffin likely had to leave some money on the table). Griffin’s best play, and biggest contracts, are behind him. He turns 32 later this month and is probably better served in a supporting role on a contender. And the Pistons, under new general manager Troy Weaver and 10-26 on the year, are just beginning a roster revamp.
Griffin wasn’t playing well (career-low 12.3 points per game on 35.6% shooting from the field) and if he was, he’d only help the rebuilding Pistons win more games in a season where that’s really not the goal.
Thus, a buyout. And a lot of annoyance from Pistons fans:
Not sure how Griffin’s 3-point shooting (31.5%) and rebounding (5.2 per game) play with the Nets stars, but if he wants a ring, Brooklyn might be the quickest place to get one.
That’s rude (to Griffin and kinda to Jeff Teague).
NBA regular-season action doesn’t start back up until Wednesday, so Griffin has some time to choose his next spot.
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