Blake Griffin, Pistons to part ways; should Celtics consider veteran forward?

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Darren Hartwell
·2 min read
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Should C's consider Blake Griffin as veteran eyes Pistons exit? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Blake Griffin era in Detroit is nearing its end.

Griffin will be out of the Pistons' lineup while the team considers trade and buyout options for the veteran forward, Detroit general manager Troy Weaver told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Pistons will attempt to trade Griffin and his $36.6 million cap hit prior to the March 25 NBA trade deadline, per Wojnarowski, but also could settle on a buyout that would allow the 31-year-old to sign with another team.

According to Wojnarowski, Griffin wants to join a contender, which begs the question: Should the Celtics pursue the former All-Star?

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The simple answer is no: Griffin has had two knee surgeries since April 2019 and has been a shell of himself ever since. He's averaging 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists for an awful Pistons team and would be a massive overpay based on his current production.

Grounded Griffin

Number of NBA players who have dunked since Griffin's last dunk in Dec. 2019

444

Variation

Single

The Celtics also technically can't trade for Griffin using their $28.5 million traded player exception, since their TPE can't be combined with other salaries to take on a larger contract, and Griffin's $36.6 million cap hit for this season well exceeds $28.5 million.*

If Detroit buys out Griffin's contract, the C's could sign him on the buyout market on a more palatable deal. There's a good chance he hits the buyout market, too, as few teams have the cap space to absorb his contract.

Even at 31, Griffin is a more dynamic scorer than Celtics power forwards Tristan Thompson and Grant Williams. That said, Boston needs a big who can stretch the floor, and Griffin is a career 33.1% 3-point shooter with limited range.

There are plenty of other options for Danny Ainge to consider on the trade and buyout markets, so Griffin doesn't seem like a viable option for the C's.

*Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly noted that the Celtics could trade for Griffin using their traded player exception.