NBA

Blake Griffin to be held out as Pistons explore trade, buyout options

By Sports Desk February 15, 2021

Blake Griffin's tenure with the Detroit Pistons appears to be over. 

The Pistons have agreed to hold Griffin out of the lineup while the franchise considers either trading the six-time All-Star or possibly buying out his contract, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. 

"After extensive conversation with Blake's representatives, it has been determined that we will begin working to facilitate a resolution regarding his future with the team that maximizes the interests of both parties," Pistons general manager Troy Weaver told ESPN on Monday.

"We respect all the effort Blake has put forth in Detroit and his career and will work to achieve a positive outcome for all involved." 

The trade deadline is March 25 but finding a team willing to take on Griffin's hefty contract could be tricky, considering he is owed a remaining $36.6million this season, in addition to $39m in 2021-22. 

"I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to accomplish in my career and for working together on the best path forward," Griffin told ESPN in a statement. 

The Pistons have the NBA's fourth-youngest roster age at 24 years, 342 days. The team is looking to rebuild and give more minutes to its younger players, including 21-year-old rookie Saddiq Bey – the 19th pick of the 2020 draft.  

Griffin was the first overall selection in the 2009 draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, and was named the 2010-11 NBA Rookie of the Year, while averaging 22.5 points and a career-high 12.1 rebounds. His 63 double-doubles as a rookie trail only the 68 amassed by Shaquille O'Neal for the Orlando Magic in 1992-93 for the most by a first-year player in the last 35 seasons. 

Traded to Detroit during the 2017-18 season – just 33 games after signing a five-year, $171m max deal with Los Angeles – Griffin's Pistons career got off to a promising start.  

He averaged a career-high 24.5 points and was named an All-Star in his first full season in Detroit in 2018-19 while helping the Pistons reach the playoffs. Injuries, however, have plagued him in the past few seasons and his production has declined dramatically. 

He appeared in just 18 games in 2019-20, averaging 15.5 points and a career-low 4.7 rebounds, while averaging a personal-low 12.3 points and 5.2 boards in 20 games this season. 

In his last game for the Pistons on Friday, Griffin finished with 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting with six assists and four rebounds in 35 minutes in a 108-102 win over the Boston Celtics. 

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