Blake Griffin no longer an All-Star but he could still help the right team
Blake Griffin can help a team.
The veteran forward reached a buyout with the Detroit Pistons, making him a free agent available to sign with the team of his choice once he clears waivers, a person familiar with the agreement told USA TODAY Sports.
The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly until the buyout is official.
There are teams, including title contenders, interested in Griffin.
But remember this: The former OU star is not the player he was even two seasons ago.
He played just 18 games last season and 20 this season. His shooting percentage is .358 and his 3-point percentage is .285. And he averaged 13.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists over the past two seasons.
But in the right spot with the right team, Griffin can provide value, especially since frontcourt players are in demand right now.
Where could Griffin end up?
The Heat are playing better basketball and rising in the Eastern Conference standings, but big man Meyers Leonard is out for the season. Miami needs depth in the frontcourt to help Bam Adebayo, Kelly Olynyk and rookie Precious Achiuwa.
The Nets lost depth when the traded Jarrett Allen in the James Harden deal. Harden, a guard, is the team’s leading rebounder, and the bulk of the scoring comes from perimeter players Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Joe Harris and Harden. DeAndre Jordan and Jeff Green need help.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have the best defense in the league, but they lost frontcourt power when Dwight Howard left in free agency and JaVale McGee was traded to Cleveland. Anthony Davis has missed three weeks with a calf injury, and reinforcements would give the Lakers roster a boost. Los Angeles heads into the All-Star break with seven losses in its past 10 games.
Los Angeles Clippers
Could Griffin rejoin his former team? Griffin is one of those hybrid bigs who can play inside and outside and could be a complementary addition to Ivica Zubac, Serge Ibaka and Marcus Morris Sr.
The middle-of-the-road Celtics need help but they could be looking at a bigger acquisition in a trade deadline deal.
Golden State Warriors
Golden State is an interesting option. The 19-18 Warriors are better than expected — thanks to another MVP-like season from Stephen Curry — and the playoffs are a realistic goal. Outside of rookie James Wiseman and Eric Paschall, the Warriors rely on perimeter players.
The Mavericks have won eight of their past 10 games but that still leaves them at 18-16 and in eighth place in the West. Dallas needs scoring from the frontcourt to help Kristaps Porzingis.