Knee surgery that halted his 2019-20 season after just 18 games has affected his play this season for a rebuilding Pistons team, leading to Friday’s buyout.
If he’s healthy, Griffin could help a few teams as a secondary playmaker and occasional low-post scorer, along with providing a veteran presence on a contender. Here are five possible options for Griffin:
The Nets seem like a logical option, needing depth on the frontline after losing Jarrett Allen in the James Harden deal. Griffin isn’t a backline defender, but he can play small-ball center in doses and his playmaking versatility could bolster a second unit. In recent years, he’s developed increased range, but he’s shot just 31% from 3-point range this season.
Getting back to LA would be the main attraction, it seems. The Lakers have been hit with the Anthony Davis injury and are in need of bodies in the meantime. Griffin could play for a team that has title aspirations, stick it to the Clippers franchise that shipped him to Detroit months after calling him a “Clipper for life,” and begin to set up his post-career life in entertainment.
Seems like a long shot with all the movement Miami requires of its bigs, but the Heat have rarely hesitated on making their team better. As a hub who can facilitate movement around him, he could provide spells on the burden placed on Jimmy Butler to create shots for everybody.
The Warriors struggle to create shots outside of Stephen Curry’s movement, ranking 22nd in offensive rating. Adding a body in Griffin could help as an offensive option from the pinch post, and he’s improved as a playmaker who doesn’t turn the ball over much in the last several seasons.
Damian Lillard needs help, and although a prime Griffin would be a much better fit than this version, any little bit can help around the margins while Portland is without CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins. The Blazers are one of the league’s worst defensive teams (28th in defensive rating), and Griffin won’t help much there.
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