Blake Griffin Will Sit As Pistons Consider Possible Trade, Buyout

The Pistons will hold power forward Blake Griffin out of their lineup for the foreseeable future as they work with his representatives to resolve his situation, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

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.

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100 thoughts on “Blake Griffin Will Sit As Pistons Consider Possible Trade, Buyout

    • Walladipo and Wood

      It looks like the ideal trade since no one will give up much for either of them.

      • rxbrgr

        It just doesn’t accomplish either players’ wish to move to a contender haha.

      • Otogar

        Ideal for Detroit, anyway. They would get a player 10M cheaper who would be out one year earlier. I don’t see the Cavs doing that unless they got at the very least a high unprotected first.

  1. lionsman86

    Bey is a beast so it makes sense. Good luck on finding a team to trade him to tho.

  2. Marty McRae

    Steph Curry went 4-5 while averaging 40 a game, he needs help, Griffin can be that.

    • buttholesurfer69

      Blake Griffin has been one of the worst players in the entire league this year

      • Buckman

        Looking at this year’s stats he has fallen off a cliff. Who could help? I see a team taking a flyer on him then that’s it, he is out of the league. Sadly, injuries derailed a potential HOF career.

  3. phillyballers

    Wait, buyout? He has 2 years left. That 38M is a lock for him to opt-in to. They’re seriously going to buyout 2 years? Lol Detroit is such a mess.

    • phillyballers

      Following up on my shock… I think landing spots Are Lakers, Clippers, Suns in the West. Sixers, Celtics, and Knicks make sense in the East. (Knicks for them jersey sales).

      Makes zero sense for the Nets b/c he plays no D at this point.

    • rxbrgr

      What do you mean? They could get out easily $10-$20MM on a buyout. They’ll only oblige if he wants it that bad. That would be a great outcome for them, as he has no trade value.

      • phillyballers

        I would be doubly shocked if he gave up 10-20M. Veterans minimum at most.

        • buttholesurfer69

          Yeah it seems like this is pie in the sky on both sides

          There’s no way they’re trading without attaching picks. And unless he REALLY wants to contend … I mean almost 80M is a lot of cash to potentially give up

  4. Sillivan

    $76 million remaining contract

    Pistons won’t attach 2023 First or future First

  5. shawn hemp

    He should get a million per dunk he’s had this year for his next contract

  6. thekayz

    Griffin would have to agree to opt out of year 2 in any sort of buyout agreement, right?
    But he would be insane to do so! No way he’s getting that money back over his remaining career (how ever long that is)!

  7. jacobsigel1025

    Maybe Dallas is a player if Blake reaches the buyout market. Play him at the 4 next to Porzingis

  8. thrillamilla32

    I said this on Reddit 2 months ago, Danny Ainge, pick up Blake on the buyout market for cheap!

    • photounit

      They can actually absorb his deal with only having to send about $14mil back because of the Hayward trade exception. If Detroit adds in a first rounder Ainge would definitely be all ears

    • Very Barry

      Boston can go out and pick up Blake Griffin, but what does that actually accomplish? I don’t see him being any type of a valued contributor on a title contender. Way too inefficient offensively and not giving you anything on defense.

  9. Cap & Crunch

    I hate what the buyout market represents …. Theres no Free Lunch in life there shouldnt be in the NBA as well

    Any drops like this should go on waivers at least based on reverse standings .

    NBA is flossin right now but they do need to tidy a couple things up still, this being near the top

    • What do you have against buyouts? The player is owed money from their contract and they work with the team, who holds the other end of that contract, to renegotiate that deal into a new one that they both agree to. I can’t understand how someone could have an issue with that. Both sides get what they want and agree to it. Player gets some money and freedom to pursue a new deal. The team saves some money on a player they no longer have a use for. What’s not to like?

      I also have no idea how the concept of a Free Lunch applies to buyouts. Enlighten me.

      • Cap & Crunch

        The new team that gets Drummond and/or Griffin is getting a free lunch

        They didnt have to draft him, sign him, trade for him, use cap space, etc etc etc …..its almost as if these players just fell out of the sky into there rotations for FREE

        Dont like the competitive in- balance it presents – I believe you go home with the girl you brought to the dance ….this likens to not being able to get a date and swinging by and scooping up some hookers before going to prom

        • Lil_D_Top_3

          He doesn’t just magically join a new team though for free. They still have to pay him something, as well as negotiate/compete against other teams in signing him or dealing with cavs/pistons. Am I missing something?

          • You’re not missing anything. Cap & Crunch does not understand how buy-outs or contracts in the NBA work.

        • @Cap & Crunch: “They didnt have to draft him, sign him”

          They 100% have to sign him. What are you talking about? He doesn’t just appear for free on a roster. When a player is bought out, he’s (essentially) a free agent (with a few minor exceptions), and can sign for whatever he wants. He can start a bidding war between teams if he wants. There’s nothing ‘free’ about the new team that signs him.

          Maybe you should take a look at HR’s glossary entry for buy-outs:

          link to

          • buttholesurfer69

            It’s not free but let’s be honest. The vast majority of these mid-season buyouts end up signing vet minimum deals on contending (or wanna be contending) teams.

            And that pro-rated vet min deal from April to May/June is about as close to free as you can get in the economics of the NBA.

          • Cap & Crunch

            RCT- Perhaps you dont know fully what “Free Lunch” means ??

            I understand the buyout process completely

            By No means do I think this is a right or wrong situation depending on if you agree/disagree with my original post, but your rebuttals fail to grasp what I am saying and what Surfer is saying better-

            You seem stuck in the mud here and are not really furthering the conversation much in any direction

            I too again agree with Surfer here, its the 4-10 teams that really get hurt here. I just want a fair slate for everyone, I still have No clue what you want in this subject matter

      • Blake Griffin is owed $36,810,996 for this season and $38,957,028 for next season. The money is all guaranteed. If there is a buyout, how does that work? Will Detroit be let off the hook of some of the money and another team will make Griffin whole? I imagine Blake Griffin doesn’t care who and how he gets paid as long as he gets all of the money in the contract. So in a best case scenario, a contending team will make a trade with Detroit and pick up part of the money in the contract. I doubt Griffin will take less money than what is owed to him in his guaranteed contract.

    • Chief Two Hands

      Wherever there are wimpy nerds there is free lunch money and that equals free lunches. You know this, man!

      • Cap & Crunch

        Your a great guy, you know that right…. Im guessing you dont get told that enough each day ;)

        • Chief Two Hands

          “Hand over the lunch money and nobody gets hurt.”

          I don’t get enough attention at home so I fill the hole in my heart with cafeteria specials from Lunch Lady Land.

    • hiflew

      I agree completely. There is no reason for teams at the top of the standings to ever give up anything to acquire talent via trade. They can afford to wait until players get bought out. They can get better without giving up anything of value. Teams in the 4-10 range are the ones that have to give up valuable assets as they try to catch the big boys. It’s not a fair system at all.

      At the very least, buyout guys should be part of a waiver system where teams would have a right to claim the remaining amount on their contracts. For example if the Pistons bought out Griffin for $40 million of his $64 million, any other team from worst to first should have the right to pay him the remaining $24 million by staking a claim. If no one claimed him for that price (highly unlikely), then he should be declared a free agent and forfeit that $24 million.

      It would give players a reason to want smaller buyouts which would help their original team as much or more than getting trade assets back. It would still give players a chance to play for a contender willing to gamble, but it would remove the deck stacking. Plus, it would also give teams a bigger reason to trade for these guys instead of just sitting back and waiting.

      • buttholesurfer69

        I agree – the buyout market is definitely trickle up economics

        Yet the play in game is probably going to solve this issue on its own.

        Now any team from like 9-13 in a conference has a reason to hold onto guys to “make a push” for a playoff berth

        So it’s going to go from 1/2 the league potentially buying out guys come April to maybe 3-4 of the TRUE tankers that will be buying out guys moving fwd

      • Cap & Crunch

        Thank you guys; I know Im not alone in this…Laker fan too btw so buyouts prolly help my team more than hurt so this isnt some sort of bias working –

        Pen will never be my sword, your guys posts illustrate my point better than I could have so thanks for that

        “Trickle up Economics” That was good!

        Agree play in games help the sitch a tad but I think theres an opp to clean it up a little via rule change down the line….Hiflew I agree in your area of a new waiver system, nice pull , was kinda thinking same….I know theres a waiver system now but its more faux than real with having to pick up tab, nobodies doing that w Blake and Andre so its essentially a vet min (price) which is nothing,,,so yes Free is a preety good word there

      • Cap & Crunch

        * Hiflew your post was great but ill just add it would also put some Risk in it for the big boys by having them have to assume the rest of prorated contract; I can live with that because you would have to move within the cap, just like everybody else

        Teams in the 4-10 range have to take risks all the time to level up, def not fair when Big Boys get the shiny earrings and dont even have to assume any Risk OR price

      • hiflew

        In the scenario that you write about in which the Pistons buy out Griffin’s contract for $40 million, I would think that before Griffin accepts the buyout, Griffin and his agent would already have a deal ready with another team to make up the difference. In other words, there would not be any uncertainty. Griffin, the Pistons and the other team involved would have the entire situation spelled out before the buyout happens. Griffin would not take a gamble for $24 million.

        • hiflew

          In my scenario, Griffin would not really have an option. Griffin is under contract regardless. Detroit could put him on the theoretical waiver wire for whatever buyout they were willing to do. If Griffin were claimed, then the claiming team would be responsible for the remainder of the deal. Teams in the 4-10 range would probably take the gamble in order to keep him off the top seeds.

          I guess forfeiting the money would be a bad idea because teams could easily exploit that, but maybe there could be a situation where that money might not count on the cap or something. It was just an off the top of my head idea. I don’t really have all the details worked out, but I believe it would at least be a fairer system than the current garbage buyout market.

    • Jason Lancaster

      A player agrees to forgo earnings in an effort to end a contract early. But, according to you, that player shouldn’t have any control over where they play next?

      What incentive would a player have to accept a buyout if they couldn’t pick their next team?

      • Cap & Crunch

        Chance Jason

        They dont forgo much of any money if we are being honest about it . Losing team mostly just does it to get a new/younger player some p/t down the stretch who fits their future better. The economics dont change much just the jersey

        Think the call is more for better regulation, seems like a black market in the current state that funnels the rich while the poor get poorer . Im never for that generally in any walk of life

        • Right, but the players, their old team, and their new team are all in agreement with all of this and are happy. So I’m still unsure as to what you don’t like about this?

          It’s not great players that are being bought out. It’s typically older players whose best years are behind them, and it will still cost the new team money to sign them. If a player chooses to sign with them, it’s because they’ve played well enough to appear to be a winning destination.

          Players are forgoing part of their salary to have a chance to win. The old team saves money. The new team is able to add a player for a deep playoff run. Everyone is happy.

          • buttholesurfer69

            I hear you, I don’t vehemently object to it by any means, but I do generally agree with the premise that it helps the top 3-4 teams in every conference while hurting the “middle of the pack” teams.

            Do I think it makes a material difference in the outcome of the playoffs? Probably not. And again I think it’s a moot point with the play-in game now expanding the potential playoff pool, thus reducing the buyout pool (probably?)

      • KnickerbockerAl

        The whole point of a buyout. Is to sign wherever you want to sign after buyout. Griffin is owed 38 mill and about 12 mill this yr. Players association wouldn’t allow less than 40 mill buyout.

      • hiflew

        Having the opportunity to play for a contender. Blake Griffin has enough money to live 15 lifetimes happy. Forgoing $20 million means he still gets $44 million over the next two years. He’s not going hungry.

        But he could then have the opportunity to play meaningful basketball instead of sitting on the bench in Detroit wasting his career while basically doing nothing but adding superfluous money to the pile.

        • Understand what you are saying. Before this season even started, Griffin has already grossed $192 million before taxes in his career. So Griffin must have $100 million plus banked. Just have a feeling though that it is hard to walk away from $20 million.

          • hiflew

            I guess the way I look at it is that if I am not happy with $100 million, I don’t think an extra $20 million is going to help. Personally I think it would be very easy to walk away from the $20 million if I already had that much. I’d buy an island and walk away and say screw you to everyone that ever irritated me. But that’s me.

    • Ironmonger835

      Buyout guys rarely even end up contributing anyways. Who is the last buyout guy to make a difference? Boris Diaw? It always looks good at first but the guy usually doesn’t do much

      • Cap & Crunch

        I do agree they are over-rated (typcially) in a sense ; and certainly not something any team views as a feather in their cap before they happen but the process of dispersing the players who get bought out seems kinda sketchy today

        * I for one dont want too see Drummond be able to suddenly cure a potential mess in the middle for Brooklyn for the pro rated vet min rest of season just because Drummond “likes: his chances over there….Hell, say the same for LAL and thats my own team, it would feel wrong if we signed him that easy and cheaply ….lotta teams put in a lotta hard sweat and tears to overcome adversity, not fair for us to just sit and wait for awhile then the anwswer gets filled in for beans at the buyout

  10. washington_bonercats

    Makes 0 sense. Contract is too big to move without giving up your own 1st round pick. Buying him out for the next two seasons seems just as bad. Only team I can possibly see making a move is Charlotte if they think they can actually make it past the 1st round. Getting the Hornets a playoff series win could be great to kick off their new era of ball

  11. Very Barry

    No need to even waste the time pursuing trade options. There will be no interest with that contract unless Washington wants to move Westbrook which is a deal that works for both teams. Blake Griffin will be bought out and will then look to sign with a contender. Not sure if he will actually help that contender, but that is what will happen.

    • x%sure

      No need to waste time unless he trades for Westbrook.”
      “Makes 0 sense unless traded to Charlotte.”
      rct has forgotten who the buyout market helps and
      rxbrgr is trying to figure the buyout amount, a private number.
      People are acting shocked but its been years in the making.

      Stretch-4 with bad knees, needs rest and fewer minutes.
      Available for cheap after buyout.
      Best for starting chippy fights.

      • I’m not sure why you mentioned me or who I’ve forgotten. The buyout market benefits everyone involved because it A) gives the player freedom, B) helps the old team shed some salary, and C) helps contending teams add players. Who am I forgetting here?

        • Cap & Crunch

          That there are 16-20 contenders come June not the “chosen” 2-3 every year

        • x%sure

          rct Buyouts enable talent to shift from lower-ranked teams to the top teams leaguewide. Thus it affects parity, and potentially, behind the scenes, good teams cherrypicking players from lesser teams. You can say ‘so what’ if you want given your A)B)C) reasons but quit acting obtuse… it makes posters get defensive.

          Every year there is an issue about midseason buyouts but the CBA is fine with it and the rules do not change… and the buyout amounts do not get disclosed which bothers still another group of fans.

          I think both Morrises have been involved. Usually it’s “fill-in” players, not stars or young core, so objections are limited, but it can look like shady doings.

      • buttholesurfer69

        Yeah I think OKC will be looking to unload him for picks not cap relief

        (altho Blake might help them lose more games)

    • Cap & Crunch

      Actually not the worst idea in the world and something Okc (might) have small interest in if propositioned

      Horford has 2.5 yrs left
      Griffin 1.5

      Obv on court they lose a little, but they get outta Horford a year early…only reason they got Horford was on a dump neways, his contracts way under water . OKC is in full rebuild, its a strange idea but not crazy to think why both parties might be engaged to it

      • Northern Expansion 416

        Well you know some of them on this page label every trade “Trash” because someone else said it. But yes that’s the best that Detroit will probably get in return for Blake..

        • Cap & Crunch

          Yes there are a lot of angry people on the internet indeed!

          I doubt Jason thought about years left, team time arcs etc he probably just made a blanket statement based on on court play this year.

          I actually think Det might have less interest in that trade (extra Horford year ) than OKC so I found his comment a bit off indeed…….. Dont think this trade would ever happen but dont be timid about posting any trade scenarios you want in the future here, thats what this cites all about and opens the door up for further dialogues /scenarios/thoughts

          • Northern Expansion 416

            Timid? I’m the opposite. What is that? Some trait for sheltered folks who never went outside growing up??? That was hilarious though. I post whatever I want. Nobody can prevent me from doing so. The person badder isn’t yet born…

  12. thekayz

    PHI – Harris for Griffin? Harris has 4 years on his deal versus Griffin’s 2.

    OKC – Horford has 3 years bersus Griffin’s 2 (except Griffin is owed more cash).

    WAS – DET doesn’t want Westbrook.

    GSW – Griffin and Sekou for Wiggins (3 years) and Oubre.

    This will be a buyout…

    • hiflew

      Detroit has no reason to accept longer term deals in return unless it is for younger players. It would benefit them more to just pay Griffin through his deal. Now if a team wants to offer a big expiring deal (Mike Conley? DeMar DeRozan? Kyle Lowry?) along with additional pieces, I could see a deal happen.

      Here is a potential three way deal that works money wise

      Jazz get
      Blake Griffin
      Terry Rozier

      Pistons get
      Malik Monk
      Devonte Graham
      Derrick Favors
      Royce O’Neale
      Bismack Biyombo

      Hornets get
      Mike Conley

      It would be a bit of a gamble for both the Jazz and Hornets. Do the Jazz want to break up the best team in the West and hope they can gel with a couple of bounce back candidates? Do the Hornets want to gamble by having LaMelo learn behind Conley for a year when he is playing well?

      I like it for all three, but I am not running the teams.

      • buttholesurfer69

        Kudos for finding a deal for Griffin that’s actually within some modicum of rationality

        The Jazz would have to be really high on Rozier though to give up two solid rotation guys and Mike Conley for him. And to me Rozier and Clarkson are overlapping in skill sets a bit

        But to me Griffin is cooked. Maybe there’s an argument he can be of some value in a heavily reduced role, playing against second units, but even so I think you’d have to be REALLY sure of that to even sniff around his 38M player option

        • hiflew

          It would also be possible to slot Rozier in Detroit and send Graham and Monk to Utah. They might both be better fits that way, if Graham could get back to his last season performance and write this year off as being thrown off by LaMelo.

      • x%sure

        Utah wants to add a defensive guard, not lose one. They’re doing fine with their current setup, no need to reach.

      • The Hornets would never do this trade. Give up Rozier and Monk for just Conley. The trade is a big steal for both the Pistons and the Jazz, especially the Pistons.

        • hiflew

          Ladies and gentlemen, a Hornets fan.

          You must be if you think the combo of Rozier and Monk is not worth Conley. Even with Graham thrown in there, it’s not an unfair deal for the Hornets. They get the best player in the deal.

    • LexLegend

      Harris playing like an allstar. They aren’t trading him unless it is for a superstar.

    • Everyone wants to talk about the money he would give up. Detroit wants to do right by him and he wants to do right by Detroit. I think he would take a reasonable buyout to choose his own path. Blake is a class player and he has made a ton. I’m not saying he is willing to waive his opt in but I don’t believe he wants to hinder Detroit in their rebuild either. This May in fact be one of the more interesting buyout discussions we have ever seen. I do not see Detroit attaching any picks whatsoever to trade him. Will they stretch his deal? Weaver has proven he doesn’t dislike the stretch. It’s going to be k retesting to say the least. I don’t see him going back to the clippers but that doesn’t mean he won’t go to the Lakers or Warriors. Nets maybe? Miami?

  13. buttholesurfer69

    Griffin has a PER of 10.0 and BPM of -2.6 this year

    No one is trading anything for him unless serious draft assets are attached (and why would Detroit do that?)

    And even if he’s bought out (and why would Blake give up all that $$?) I don’t see many contenders using a roster spot on a guy who’s played this bad this year

    And even if they did there’s almost no chance he sees playing time on a team with championship goals

    • x%sure

      A team with championship goals is exactly what he will aim for after buyout— salary will not matter. A year or two off would not hurt either.

      No reason to assume he will give up much money in a buyout— they owe him. But there’s no formula for it and it probably will not be disclosed.

  14. Sillivan

    He is not tradable
    Pistons want to take $57 million additional salary

    John Wall is a bit upgrade over Griffin

  15. Kowalski

    I would think griffin is planning to join a contender, lakers or clippers?

  16. "Stons" Fan

    Excellent news! Giid luck Blake. But surprised they woukd rather sit him out than bring him off the bench!

      • "Stons" Fan

        That is for players with trade value. Since apparently he has none and it looks like he willbe bought out or sit. Why not play himoff tge bench until you can get rid of him. My guess is he would rather sit than be benched.

  17. GabeOfThrones

    He has no trade value and the pistons are rebuilding so they won’t attach draft picks to trade the contract. Only solution is to trade him for another bad contract (there arguably are none worse than his), or buy him out. Only way a trade happens is if he agrees not to pick up his player option, which would be foolish of him to do. Players like being milllionaires more than they like winning.

    • El Don

      That is the point of it all, this is a business & their job, earning $ is the main goal, winning can be nice as well, but that is optional, ya know it ain’t paying no bills with W’s, but those $ do pay bills nicely!

  18. jirogers72

    Thank you SVG! Enjoy your time with the Pelicans while it lasts, YOU LOSER!!!

  19. KnickerbockerAl

    Only team that would trade for him is OKC. He could go home and end his career there. Boston could get in on three way. They could sure use Horford. If he gets bought out it would be interesting to see who signs Griffin. Definitely see Bos using their TE at TD for somebody.

  20. mgrap84

    Kimd of crazy how much he has falling off. Wonder if there is any contending team out there that will jump on him and see if they can still squeeze something out of him

  21. Over 60 mm remaining on his contract right now. I can’t see any team taking that on without getting significant draft compensation, and Detroit has no tradable 1st’s (without contingencies). Alternatively, it would be the mother of all buyouts. Weaver is bold if nothing else.

  22. Just play him he will get hurt at some point and you get a great DPE you can use on someone else

  23. bradthebluefish

    A more accurate title would be “Pistons will sit Blake Griffin” as this is the Piston’s decision, not Griffin’s decision.

    • El Don

      You would have loved the days of slavery, right?
      No one cares about teams, hoops is about the players, they don’t just run the show, they the show, mon!

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