Report: Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin considering season-ending knee surgery

Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Blake Griffin hasn’t looked right all season when he’s played for the Detroit Pistons. He’s missed 19 of 37 games and that number could grow.

The hits keep coming for the Detroit Pistons and forward Blake Griffin, who has been hampered by knee injuries since late last season.

Griffin, 30, will see a specialist in Los Angeles with season-ending knee surgery on the table, according to Yahoo!’s Chris Haynes. It would be the second knee surgery in a span of eight months if that’s what Griffin and the Pistons decide.

He had surgery last offseason after suffering a torn meniscus late in the year, an injury he fought through to will the Pistons to their second playoff berth in four years. He also played in two games of a first-round sweep against the Milwaukee Bucks.

When asked if Griffin was out for the remainder of the season, Pistons owner Tom Gores was committal, and now we know why.

"“No, we’re not that far, and we’re just gonna assess it in the next week or so. He’s a trooper,” Gores said.“If Blake could play, he’d be playing. I think we just give him a few days of rest and see what happens.”"

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Griffin is a competitor but has been visibly frustrated when he’s on the court, which has been 18 games versus the 19 he’s sat out. His play for the 13-24 Pistons is the worst of his career by a wide margin.

This season, Griffin is averaging 15.5 points per game, a career-low by 2.5, and 4.7 rebounds per game, a career-low by 2.7. His true shooting percentage is 47.6%, which is a career-low by 6.8%. His Player Efficiency Rating of 12.8 is a career-low by 7.5 and is only the second season he’s had where he’s been below 20.

The six-time All-Star was remarkable last season, earning an All-NBA selection for willing the Pistons to the playoffs. This season has been marked by injuries, not only for him but for Reggie Jackson, who has missed all but two games, Luke Kennard who has been out for two weeks, and essentially every other Pistons player.

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Only Langston Galloway has played in all 37 games of what may be considered a lost season. However, somehow the Pistons are still 3 1/2 games out of the eight seed and 4 1/2 out of the seven seed in a weak East. The whole league is top-heavy with 13 teams claiming a winning record.

Detroit challenged the West’s best on Sunday night in a 106-99 loss to the Lakers (29-7). It was the third straight start for Sekou Doumbouya, the NBA’s youngest player having turned 19 two weeks ago. It was also the third straight game Doumbouya scored in double figures, all while matched up against Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green and LeBron James.

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The Pistons are poised to allow Doumbouya to continue to develop and gain significant experiential learning while under the guide of Dwane Casey – the coach who developed Pascal Siakam into a budding star. With the comparisons between the two, it could be an important period for the future of the Pistons franchise.

Should Griffin’s season end, the Pistons are in a prime position to let younger players, such as Christian Wood, Doumbouya and Bruce Brown continue to develop on the fly. The Pistons currently have the seventh-worst record in the league, despite being a sniff from a playoff spot. If Griffin and the Pistons elect for surgery, it could only help their draft positioning.

This also explains why Gores was outspoken about needing to evaluate “everything.” It turns out it may have been a loaded answer that foreshadowed all of this, including recent reports of Detroit fielding calls for 26-year-old center Andre Drummond.

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Whatever the Pistons decide should be done with Griffin’s best-interests in mind. Though it is a business, the player should come first. It’s hard not to notice the effect it will have on the Pistons organization moving forward.