Blake Griffin is a former All-Star who has been underperforming this season: he is currently averaging 12.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, and 4.3 APG. This is a far cry from his Clippers day. But Blake Griffin still has something in the tank: during his lone All-Star season in Detroit in 2018-19, Griffin averaged 24.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 5.4 APG. At this point, perhaps Griffin won’t reach those heights again. But he is still a useful player for teams who want a big man with spacing: Griffin has developed his 3PT shot during the last few years of his career.
With the Detroit Pistons currently going through a rebuild, they should trade Blake Griffin away for some future assets. The type of team that would take a flyer on Blake Griffin is a team that is looking for more talent to put them over the top. Blake Griffin won’t carry an offense anymore, but he can be a great complementary player in a supporting role on a team that wants to play in the offseason. Here are some teams that could take a chance on the former All-Star.
5. Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Receive: Blake Griffin
Detroit Pistons Receive: James Johnson, Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, a future first-round pick.
The Dallas Mavericks have started the year off with a 6-7 record, and are currently in the 10th seed in the Western Conference. Adding Blake Griffin to be the third man up behind Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis could be an intriguing proposition. When healthy, Blake Griffin is a solid inside player and passable floor spacer. Putting two shooting big men next to Luka Doncic would be good, as they can knock down shots when needed due to Luka Doncic’s ability to pressure the rim. Blake Griffin could be a natural fit next to a superstar like Doncic. Griffin would also increase the roster’s overall talent level and provide mentorship to the two young Dallas stars.
The Detroit Pistons would receive a solid package of players in return for Griffin. Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber are both big men who can defend and shoot: they could use more shooters overall around their slashers like Derrick Rose. James Johnson is a good defender at the forward position. Essentially, the Detroit Pistons would trade an aging star for some okay players. The future first-round pick could be useful, but it could also be a less valuable pick due to the Mavericks probably being a good team. Regardless, it’s a solid haul for the Detroit Pistons, and this trade would also allow Griffin to compete for the playoffs.
4. Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks Receive: Blake Griffin
Detroit Pistons Receive: Clint Capela, Tony Snell, a future second-round pick
The Atlanta Hawks trading for Blake Griffin could be beneficial for their outlook this season. After a hot start, the Atlanta Hawks have recently fallen to a 6-7 record in the Eastern Conference. With this trade, the Hawks could run two power forwards in the rotation. John Collins could get some of the easy opportunities that Capela was getting at the rim, while Blake Griffin could space the floor for Trae Young. Blake Griffin would be a beneficiary of Young’s offensive presence as he wouldn’t have to create shots for himself as he does on the Detroit Pistons. This would lessen the wear and tear on his body.
The Pistons getting Clint Capela means that they would have a solid center who could work well with Jerami Grant. Clint Capela is an elite inside defensive presence and is an elite rebounder and transition player. Tony Snell is an okay shooter, while the second-round pick is more of a throw-in asset to entice the Detroit Pistons. This would let the Pistons get a younger big man in Clint Capela while trading Blake Griffin to a team where he can make an impact on a younger team and impart his wisdom.
3. Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Clippers Receive: Blake Griffin
Detroit Pistons Receive: Patrick Beverley, Ivica Zubac, Lou Williams
This trade would put Blake Griffin back at the franchise which drafted him, the Los Angeles Clippers. While the Clippers did trade Griffin earlier in his career, winning cures everything. In this scenario, Blake Griffin would team up with Serge Ibaka to provide an elite frontcourt for the Clippers. The Los Angeles Clippers could move Nicolas Batum to the bench and start Griffin to utilize his floor spacing and rebounding ability. Blake Griffin would have no pressure to score with two dominant superstars and instead settle into a playmaking role, similar to Draymond Green on the Warriors.
The Detroit Pistons would get a few solid players with this trade. Ivica Zubac is a young center who would thrive with more minutes: on the Detroit Pistons, he would get them. Zubac is solid offensively while being a little slower on the defensive end on the perimeter. Lou Williams is a proven scorer but is averaging his lowest minutes count since his second year in the league. Patrick Beverley is a good defender who will be an expiring contract in 2021-22: the Clippers could then trade him for further assets that season. This trade would give no picks to the Pistons, but some salary relief with Williams’ expiring contract, and some solid players who can be traded later on.
2. Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Kings Receive: Blake Griffin
Detroit Pistons Receive: Buddy Hield, Nemanja Bjelica
The Sacramento Kings getting Blake Griffin for Buddy Hield could be beneficial. Buddy Hield being gone could free up a starting space for Tyrese Haliburton. Haliburton is a solid two-way player who can shoot the ball. He needs playing time to develop. Blake Griffin being on the Sacramento Kings could be beneficial for their young players. They could play Marvin Bagley at the C position, allowing him to be closer to the basket. Blake Griffin could provide some shooting for Kings from the PF position, scoring if needed in a third option role. Griffin’s experience with many playoff runs could certainly help the Sacramento Kings break their playoff drought.
The Detroit Pistons would get a solid shooter in Buddy Hield. While Buddy Hield has struggled from the inside, he’s shooting a solid 36.7% from 3PT range on high volume. He could be an amazing floor spacer for Jerami Grant, and perhaps on a different franchise like the Detroit Pistons, Hield could regain his form from the 2018-19 season. Nemanja Bjelica is a solid big man who can shoot; he’d probably be the backup for Jerami Grant. This deal is a solid deal as it would give the Kings some veteran experience while giving Buddy Hield a fresh start.
1. Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets Receive: Blake Griffin
Detroit Pistons Receive: Gary Harris, Paul Millsap, a second-round pick
The Denver Nuggets could be a really good potential fit for Blake Griffin. Blake Griffin could provide some size at the PF position for the Nuggets while providing quality spacing. Griffin could help the Nuggets guard bigger forwards like LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard. Nikola Jokic would set him up for corner threes on the offensive end. Griffin could also serve as a hub for secondary playmaking, as he is a capable passer as a PF. This scenario could work out well for the Nuggets: if they believe that Blake Griffin can bounce back, there is no reason for them not to acquire him.
The Denver Nuggets would give up Gary Harris and Paul Millsap in this scenario. Both are fundamentally sound players who provide a quality defense. Gary Harris, in particular, could be good for the future if he gets a bigger role on the Detroit Pistons: during the 2017-18 season, he averaged 17.5 PPG but has had to take a step back with the emergence of Jamal Murray in recent years. Millsap would be a solid defensive veteran and could replace the mentorship of Blake Griffin for the young Pistons. This deal would give the Pistons two good players, and the second-round pick would just be an extra bonus in the package.