How much will former All-Star help Brooklyn?
Shams Charania was the first to report of the move on Sunday. Griffin has been sitting out Detroit’s games recently once it became clear he had no future with the team.
In a big market and among the title contenders, the Nets are going to be one of the top contenders for buyout players. Griffin is as decorated as they come on the buyout market. He’s only a season removed from an All-NBA campaign. He carried the Pistons to the playoffs.
The buyout comes after a difficult start to this season, though. Injuries have taken their toll on Griffin’s athleticism, resulting in career lows across the board.
It’s impossible for a signing of this ilk to be much of a negative for Brooklyn. Griffin is effectively a free hit. It works out, and the Nets add to their front court depth with some serious experience. It fails, and they can part ways in a few months.
The 2021 version of Griffin is far from an All-Star. Nor is he a high-flying dunker. Quotes suggesting Brooklyn has a ‘big four’ are grossly inaccurate, but that’s not to downplay how effective Griffin can be. Playing small ball five, Griffin can play make, and maybe he can regain his shot.
The resurgence of Nicolas Batum gives hope for Griffin turning it round. Batum was washed in Charlotte. He’s become an important rotation player for the Clippers, and the Nets will be hoping for a similar recovery from Griffin with fresh motivation and in a defined role.
Griffin isn’t even going to be the fourth option on this team. The Nets have had success with Bruce Brown in the frontcourt, and Joe Harris is the fourth guy behind Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Griffin is depth, and a guy who can operate with the bench as another passer.
Batum represents the best case scenario. It’s perhaps more reasonable to expect Griffin to be further down the pecking order. Maybe he’s behind DeAndre Jordan, Jeff Green and Brown for minutes. After dealing everything to get Harden, though, the Nets can do with the experience even if Griffin doesn’t improve from his Pistons performance. There is still some value in acquiring a six-time All-Star even if he’s not a factor in the fourth quarter of playoff games.
The name sounds more exciting than the reality. Griffin’s time with the Nets could result in a ring, and maybe he becomes a useful rotation player, but anyone who has seen him play this season is well aware that severe caution should be exercised.