It’s been reported that Blake Griffin will sit until he is either bought out or traded by the Detroit Pistons. Griffin has had an interesting career, but with the Pistons developing their youth, he wants to play on a contender while he still has something left in the tank. There are a lot of teams he could go to, but he may be the spark the Celtics are looking for.
Boston is in need of wing depth and leadership. The roster has several bigs, a few decent guards, but no quality back up wings. This is leaving a heavy workload on Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. They need some help. Blake could provide some good minutes off the bench when the game needs to be maintained and kept close, especially in third quarters, where opponents have been pulling away. Griffin can generate decent offense by himself and things could be made easier with Walker, Brown and Tatum opening things up for him at times. Not to mention his lessened role off the bench would save his body on wear and tear.
It is worth mentioning that Griffin is averaging career-lows this year and injuries are always a problem with him. He’s had more surgeries in his career than most people will have in a lifetime. He also hasn’t dunked in a game in over a year. Which is why him finding good minutes off the bench would be a great way to prolong his career.
After all, this wouldn’t be the first time a former superstar finds an effective role off the bench. Former teammate Derrick Rose would be the most recent example. The best comparison would be former Celtics great Bill Walton. Walton won a Sixth Man of the Year award and a championship in 1986 coming off the bench for Boston.
The real problem with Griffin would be his salary. He makes almost $37 million a year which wouldn’t fit into the Celtics available trade exception. This would mean a very expensive trade and one, most likely, not worth it. Boston’s only possible path to landing Griffin would be a buyout. Then he would be free to sign with anyone. That would make for fortunate circumstances but also unpredictable, as another team could easily sign him.
The Celtics need to make a move. This may be one of the best low-risk, high reward moves available for Danny Ainge. He should strongly consider pursuing Griffin in the buyout market.
(Photo: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)