Detroit Pistons: What if no team wants Blake Griffin?

Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Everything is honky dorry right now, as the Detroit Pistons are more than willing to send Blake Griffin to a contender. But what if no team wants to trade for him? It could get touchy.

Things are kind of in a holding pattern as the Detroit Pistons try to find a partner to trade for Blake Griffin, that the player would approve of.

Since February 15, Griffin has no longer been part of the active Pistons roster. But that does not mean he stops getting paid. Nope, Detroit is still on the hook for his $36.6 million salary for the season.

Any team trading for Griffin will have to pick up his contract. That means not only $36.6 million for this season, but they would also have to give him $39.9 million in 2021-2022 if Griffin picks up his player option.

Griffin is only two years removed from an All-NBA season where he averaged 24.5 points a game. If he was still that player, moving Griffin would be easy (Of course, if he was playing like that, the Pistons would keep him.)

But after several knee operations, he simply is not that player anymore. And the Pistons have younger players at his position they want to look at.

Related Story. Is Blake Griffin untradable?. light

The player who once could dunk over a car, literally has not dunked in a game this season.

Griffin has taken more three-point shots than two-pointers this season, although he only makes 31.5% of his threes. Griffin is only averaging 12.3 points a game and, as anyone who has watched the Pistons knows, coach Dwane Casey gave him ample playing time.

So can Griffin leave via trade? Not likely.

The Blake Griffin and Detroit Pistons buyout drama

If both Griffin’s representatives and the Pistons agree that a trade is not going to happen, the next step is a negotiated buyout.

The main questions involved here are: How badly does Griffin want to go to a contender right now, and, how much money is Detroit owner Tom Gores willing to swallow for, basically, nothing.

There are three probably scenarios this could go:

Gores/Pistons are Mr. Nice Guy

The simplest solution is to basically give Griffin everything he wants.

Guarantee Griffin’s agents (because those are the ones who will be doing the talking), that Detroit will pay in full what he is owed him for the next two years, minus whatever salary Griffin’s new team will pay him.

With all his money safe and secured, Griffin then can pick and choose what NBA team he wants to go to. The new team would only have to pay a prorated minimum salary of $2,564,753 to put Griffin on their roster.

So, Blake Griffin finds another place to play, and Gores saves a couple of million dollars.

Easy peasy. Everyone walks away happy.

But it also means that Griffin is getting paid $74 million to not play for the Pistons, and Detroit has a massive amount of dead cap space this off-season.

That is being really nice.