Detroit Pistons: Blake Griffin joins the enemy and other free agent news

Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin (2) and Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) get into a scuffle Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin (2) and Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) get into a scuffle Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons aren’t currently in the market for a free agent, but there are some interesting names still on the market.

Recently I wrote about how there were several ex-Pistons among notable available free agents, but since then a couple of them have found jobs.

One of them was Frank Jackson, who joined the Suns on a non-guaranteed deal, but may have found a perfect situation to get minutes, as the Suns don’t have a ton of depth at either guard spot.

The second was the Alpha-Ginger, Blake Griffin, who recently signed a one-year deal to join the hated Boston Celtics, one of the Detroit Pistons’ biggest rivals:

Griffin was already enemy #1 in Detroit after talking greasy about the organization and then getting into a scrap with Isaiah Stewart, so the boos will be even heavier now that he has joined the hated Celtics trying to chase another ring. It didn’t work for him in Brooklyn, and let’s hope the results are similar in Boston.

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But there are still plenty of big names on the free-agent market, some of which may not find jobs before the season starts, which reveals an interesting trend in the NBA.

Detroit Pistons: Notable free agents still available

In addition to ex-Detroit Pistons like Wayne Ellington, Avery Bradley, Greg Monroe and Tyler Cook, there are some free-agents still floating out there who used to be among the NBA elite.

Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo still don’t have jobs, which is somewhat surprising. Yes, these guys are old and at the tail end of their careers, but they are still veterans that could help a contending team.

Howard and Anthony played a combined 129 games for the Lakers last season and Melo can still hit shots, so I am surprised someone  hasn’t scooped him up yet.

In the case of Howard, he is talking about becoming a professional wrestler, which he’ll probably be great at, but I think Melo is still hoping to get a job in the NBA, not the WWE.

LaMarcus Aldridge is talking retirement, Miles Bridges is talking to his lawyers, and you have guys like Jeremy Lamb, Eric Bledsoe and Ben McLemore wondering when and if their phones are going to ring.

It shows a recent trend in the NBA that relates to the salary cap. Yes, a lot of these players are washed, but they could still likely provide more value than a rookie, especially to a contending team, so whey aren’t they signed?

With max salaries going up in recent years, teams need to fill out the bottom of their payroll with minimum players and a rookie minimum is less than a veteran minimum, it’s that simple. It’s leading to a lot of top-heavy payrolls populated with young, cheap players at the bottom.

It’s something the Players Association is clearly going to bring up in the next CBA, as they are always looking out for veterans. It will be interesting to see if it leads in any changes in the next agreement.

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