10 takeaways from the Detroit Pistons first half of the season

Detroit Pistons Sekou Doumbouya. (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Sekou Doumbouya. (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

5. Reevaluating the Griffin trade

Stan Van Gundy made a last-ditch effort to save his job with in Detroit and it ultimately didn’t work out. The risk didn’t meet the reward, even though the Pistons eventually made the playoffs in 2019 and Griffin was an All-NBA honoree.

On Jan. 29, it will be the two-year anniversary of the deal that sent Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley and Boban Marjanovic along with a first-round pick and a second-round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers. Harris recently signed a max-contract with the Sixers, Marjanovic is with the Mavericks and Bradley is a key part of the Lakers.

While none of the players sent to Los Angeles remain with the Clippers, including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, with whom they also traded, it’s hard to see the value the Clippers received. But they ultimately cleared cap space to sign Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and adding complimentary pieces around them.

Doomsday scenario: What if Griffin can't come back?. light. More

The Clippers are set up for at least a two-year run at contending. Meanwhile Griffin just had his second knee surgery in eight months. He tore his meniscus while leading the Pistons to the playoffs for the second time in four seasons.

He missed the final three preseason games, tough only the last two had an injury designation, and then the first 10 regular season games. Despite reports he was healthy, it’s hard to say if he ever was given the nature of an arthroscopic debridement.

Griffin turns 31 in March and is having the worst season of his career, by far. He’s averaging career-lows in virtually every category, including points (15.5) and rebounds (4.7) per game. Through 18 games, Griffin’s shooting line was .352/.243/.776. His Player Efficiency Rating was 12.1.

Lastly, he’s still owed $36.6 million next season and an incredibly difficult player option to turn down for the 2021-22 season valued at $38.96 million.