Pistons, Blake Griffin Finalize Buyout

4:04pm: The buyout agreement has been completed and Griffin has been placed on waivers, according to a team press release. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent on Sunday evening.

“As we stated from the beginning of our discussions with Blake and his representatives, our goal has been to facilitate a resolution for the future that maximizes the interests of both Blake and our team,” GM Troy Weaver said in a statement. “We appreciate all of Blake’s efforts on and off the court in Detroit, have great respect for him as a player and a person and we wish him all the best in the future.”

“I thank the Pistons organization for working together on an outcome that benefits all involved and I wish the franchise success in the future,” Griffin said.


11:04am: The Pistons and power forward Blake Griffin have agreed to a contract buyout that will pave the way for him to become an unrestricted free agent, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Shams Charania of The Athletic had reported on Thursday that Detroit and Griffin were working toward a buyout.

According to Wojnarowski, most of the NBA’s contending teams have interest in Griffin, who figures to make a decision on where he’ll sign in the near future after he speaks to his top suitors.

Griffin has been out of the Pistons’ lineup since February 15, when he and the team agreed to work toward a solution that would expedite his exit from Detroit. The Pistons were focused on developing their younger players, while the 31-year-old’s preference was to join a contending team, so both sides were on board with pursuing a trade or buyout.

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).

The former first overall pick 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. That deal presumably made it impossible for the Pistons to find a reasonable trade, which is why the team and his reps shifted their focus to a buyout.

It will be fascinating to see how much salary Griffin agreed to give up as part of the agreement — most players who are bought out by their teams are on expiring contracts, but it seems safe to assume Griffin didn’t simply decline his player option as part of the deal. The Pistons will likely be on the hook for a significant amount of 2021/22 salary, though they’ll have the option of stretching next season’s cap hit across three seasons.

[UPDATE: Griffin Gave Up $13.3MM In Buyout]

Griffin will spend two days on waivers before he’s officially free to sign with a new team, but as long as the Pistons finalize his release soon, he should have plenty of time to find a new home by the start of the season’s second half next Wednesday.

Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link) specifically names the Lakers, Clippers, Nets, Heat, and Warriors as teams that have expressed interest in Griffin, while Woj adds the Trail Blazers to the veteran’s list of viable options (Twitter link).

[UPDATE: Nets Considered Frontrunners To Sign Griffin]

Most of those clubs make sense, though a reunion with the Clippers would be a surprise, given how Griffin’s initial time with the organization came to an end. The Clippers re-signed Griffin to a five-year, $171MM contract in the summer of 2017 after pitching him on being a long-term centerpiece in L.A., then turned around and traded him to Detroit six months later.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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62 thoughts on “Pistons, Blake Griffin Finalize Buyout

  1. Sillivan

    The portion of contract money will be forfeited
    I’d guess he lost $7.6 million

  2. Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    Sixers should be all over this!

    I liked Porzingis for Simmons, but I like Free (meaning no players involved) better!!!!

    • Dark14ry

      Good. Just another inconsistent big man as the Lakers try to recover from giving Zubac away for a churro and a bacon wrapped hot dog.

  3. Marty McRae

    He’s sooooo washed, why are people clamoring over him? If your team plays him more than 20 minutes a game, then your team ain’t winning a thing.

    • bigguccisosa300

      Because now that he’s dirt cheap he could help literally every contender as a depth piece.

      • BO don't know Ball

        Contenders are “literally” clamoring for washed-up, injured, veteran players that can’t jump to dunk or block a shot for depth?

        What depth is that, 6 fouls?

        • bigguccisosa300

          Says the guy named “#NBAPlayersClub” lmao.

          Sure, why not? Bring him in for the minimum and that’s 6 fouls another guy doesn’t have to take. Gives you some veteran minutes. If he sucks then let him go or bench him. Not that hard to see the value of Blake Griffin over some of the guys some of these teams are throwing out there.

      • Marty McRae

        @bigguccisosa300 I already said “If your team plays him more than 20 minutes a game, then your team ain’t winning a thing.” – you replied by “depth piece” – ITS THE SAME THING

        What is your point?

        • bigguccisosa300

          Man, relax buddy.

          This is why you get troll accounts named after you lmao.

          You were trashing him and I said he was a good depth piece.

    • amk1920

      Teams aren’t trying to trade lottery picks for him like the Pistons lol. He is more than worth a buyout market minimum gamble.

  4. phenomenalajs

    The contenders with exceptions stand the best chance, since he won’t just sign for the minimum. The Nets have both a DPE and an MLE. Each is worth about $5.7M, but I’m not sure if that’s prorated for the rest of the season.

  5. yoyo137

    Blazers just make too much sense. Neil Olshey drafted him in LA and we have an open roster spot where a vet min would not take us over the tax apron.

    • Corporal Foxtrot

      I’m sure Griffin wants to make the finals though. The blazers cannot assure he will go the championship round.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Wonder how much they settled for. He was owed 51 mill with next yr. Clippers would be fitting.

  7. "Stons" Fan

    Look at all these bargin bin fans. Wouldn’t trade forhim for a pack of cigerrettes. But want him of the clearance rack. Lol!!!

    • mrshyguy99

      Would you trade for him when
      He making over 20 mill. For most teams they would have to trade 3/4 players he not worth it

      • "Stons" Fan

        There were some decent trades if teams still believed in his ability as apparently they do. I know he is not worth the money. But still it is funny seeing people clamouring over a guy just a month ago wouldn’t have traded a corpse for.

  8. Depends if he wants playing time or a ring. I think he be looking for both.

    Be interesting who he chooses. Gets most of his salary paid and gets to choose where he wants to play. No a bad scenario.

  9. KnickerbockerAl

    Still haven’t said how much they settled for. Searched everywhere for it. Anyone know ?

  10. Immanuel Quickley

    how much would he get paid if he signs with a new team does 2m make sense

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