Detroit Pistons: Can Blake Griffin help the Nets to a title?

Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons bought out Blake Griffin and he has officially cleared waivers and joined the Brooklyn Nets, likely on a league-minimum deal.

The Pistons will essentially be paying Griffin to play for the Nets, even though he did give back some of the massive sum remaining on his contract, which gave the Pistons a small amount of cap space.

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He didn’t really have to do it, but then again the Detroit Pistons could have just parked him on the bench and forced him to watch them lose for the next two seasons instead, so both sides got something out of the arrangement.

But what did the Brooklyn Nets get? Nets’ fans who are acting as if they just signed the final piece of the puzzle should probably pump the brakes a bit or go back and look at some game film from earlier this season, as Blake Griffin is no longer even close to the player he was even three years ago.

Can Blake Griffin help the Nets win a title? I’m not sure.

Detroit Pistons: Blake Griffin cannot play defense

One thing that was clear watching Blake this season is that he has lost just about all of his athleticism and this is most evident on the defensive end, where he looked absolutely cooked.

Blake Griffin can no longer stay in front of forwards of any type, is slow to switch on the pick-and-roll and basically can’t jump, which does not bode well for him helping the Nets’ already woeful defense.

The Nets are 26th in the NBA defensively, so it’s not like they can get much worse, but if anyone can get them to the bottom, it’s 2021 Blake Griffin.

Blake Griffin on offense

Griffin didn’t look much better offensively, though the Nets don’t really need any help in that department.

The Nets have the best offense in the NBA, scoring over 121 points per game, so Griffin is just gravy if he adds anything at all.

Blake is no longer a high flyer and spends most of his time parked at the 3-point line. He was taking a whopping 6.2 of them a game but only hitting 31 percent, numbers that won’t endear him to Nets’ fans, unless of course, he can do it as a stretch-five, which is the one way he can help the Nets.

Blake Griffin gives the Nets a new look at center

The Detroit Pistons probably weren’t playing Blake Griffin in the role he is now designed for, which is playing a version of a stretch-five.

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If Griffin can get his legs under him and get back to shooting the 3-ball with some consistency, then he would be an upgrade at center, especially off the bench.

He also provides some depth and insurance against a Kevin Durant injury, though the Nets would be in big trouble if he ends up having to play big minutes.

Griffin adds an offensive element that none of the other Nets’ centers have, so he might be able to help spread the floor to give Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving more room to operate.

He can at least play this role better than DeAndre Jordan, who offers next to nothing offensively. At the very least, Blake could improve the Nets’ bench, which has contributed little this season.

Blake Griffin is probably not the piece that will put the Nets over the top, but they didn’t really need one, as they are one of the frontrunners for the Finals anyway. But he does give them some depth and new looks, and given that they didn’t have to give up anything to get him, it’s basically a no-lose situation for the Nets.

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