As Wojnarowski explains, the rebuilding Pistons would like to focus on developing their younger players, while Griffin would prefer to join a contending team, so both sides are interested in figuring out a resolution. Detroit will continue to look into trade scenarios involving Griffin and may eventually enter into buyout talks with agent Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports, says Wojnarowski.
“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,” general manager Troy Weaver told ESPN. “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.”
For his part, Griffin thanked the Pistons for “understanding what I want to accomplish in my career” and for working with him toward a solution.
The Pistons showed last week when they sent Derrick Rose to New York that they’re willing to work with their veterans to get them to more favorable landing spots, but finding a Griffin trade worth making will be a challenge.
Although Griffin has made six All-Star teams and five All-NBA squads over the course of his impressive career, health issues have significantly limited his impact this season, as he has averaged a career-worst 12.3 PPG on 36.5% shooting in 20 games (31.3 MPG).
He also has one of the league’s most onerous contracts, including a $36.8MM cap hit in 2020/21, followed by a $38.96MM player option for ’21/22. It’s hard to imagine any scenario in which the Pistons get off that contract without including a sweetener or two.
Griffin’s negative trade value may result in the two sides ultimately pursuing a buyout. Unless the 31-year-old gives up a substantial amount of money, it’s hard to see how that would be worth Detroit’s while, but the fact that Weaver and the front office have publicly committed to finding a resolution suggests the club is open to the possibility.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.