Blake Griffin is joining the star-studded Brooklyn Nets as Sean Marks continues adding to a championship roster on the fly.
The best just got better. The Brooklyn Nets are signing Blake Griffin following his buyout from the Detroit Pistons. Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to report the news of Griffin’s signing.
Brooklyn will use a veteran-minimum contract slot for Griffin. He gave back $13.3 million to the Pistons in his buyout after it became clear that they were not going to find a trade partner.
Griffin, 31, averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists in 20 games with the Pistons this year. Injuries have taken a toll on the six-time All-Star in recent years, but the Nets hope he can bring something to the table.
This signing reunites Griffin with two of his former teammates, DeAndre Jordan and Bruce Brown. Griffin and Jordan were a part of the “Lob City” Clippers during the 2010s, but that team was never able to get over the hump in the playoffs.
General manager Sean Marks still has the midlevel exception (worth $5.7 million prorated) and the disabled player exception ($5.7 million prorated) to use as well.
Blake Griffin’s Possible Role
Blake Griffin is not the player he once was. Nets fans should not expect the version of Griffin that was posterizing Timofey Mozgov and baptizing Lamar Odom. This move does not shift the balance of the NBA as the James Harden deal did. However, Griffin is capable of filling a role on a championship team.
The Nets have found some success using small-ball centers so far this year with Jeff Green and Bruce Brown filling that role at times. Griffin provides Nets coach Steve Nash with another body to use in that role.
All of the sudden, the Nets have a ton of depth in the frontcourt — Jordan, Griffin, Green, Brown, Kevin Durant, and Nicolas Claxton. There are a few different ways for Nash to mix and match in the frontcourt with the personnel he has at his disposal.
It also helps that Harden plays point guard but is an exceptional post defender due to his size and strength. Harden’s post defense helps mitigate some of the damage teams can do inside when Brooklyn is playing small ball.
Can Griffin Stay Healthy?
This is the magic question. Will Griffin stay healthy enough to make a significant impact for the Nets this year?
It will certainly help that he doesn’t have to be the main guy in Brooklyn. Durant, Harden, and Kyrie Irving can shoulder the scoring load with Griffin serving as a tertiary scorer. Griffin’s improvement as a passer will come in handy playing alongside those three guys.
The Nets have also shown that they are willing to play it cautiously when it comes to injuries. Brooklyn regularly rests guys to keep them fresh.
This might be the perfect situation for Griffin to resurrect his career and win a championship in the process. The rich get richer.