Six-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons have agreed that he will be out of the lineup until the franchise and his representatives work through a resolution on his playing future, Pistons general manager Troy Weaver told ESPN.
The Pistons will continue to pursue trade scenarios involving Griffin and talks on a contract buyout with his agent Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports could eventually come into focus.
The Pistons are moving toward a rebuild under Weaver, and this gives the franchise a chance to play younger players as Griffin moves toward finding a role on a contending team.
“After extensive conversation with Blake’s representatives, it has been determined that we will begin working to facilitate a resolution regarding his future with the team that maximizes the interests of both parties,” Weaver told ESPN on Monday. “We respect all the effort Blake has put forth in Detroit and his career and will work to achieve a positive outcome for all involved.”
In a statement, Griffin told ESPN: “I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to accomplish in my career and for working together on the best path forward.”
Finding a trade for Griffin — who’s owed a remaining $36.6 million this season, and $39 million in 2021-2022 — will be a challenge, but the team will continue to seek a deal until the March 25th trade deadline, sources said.
Detroit’s entered a full-fledged rebuild under the first-year GM, Weaver, and the opportunity to play the franchise’s younger players — including rookie forward Saddiq Bey — are taking precedent now.
Injuries have dramatically altered Griffin’s game, eliminating the high-flying rim attacks that marked his All-Star career. He’s averaging 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists for Detroit this season. Griffin had solid back-to-back performances on Thursday and Friday, including 12 points, six assists and four rebounds in a road victory over the Boston Celtics.
Griffin was traded less than a season into a five-year, $171 million max deal with the LA Clippers, arriving in Detroit in late January of 2018.