Blake Griffin signed a 5-year, $171 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers in July 2017. Six months later, Griffin, Willie Reed and Brice Johnson were traded to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanović, a future protected first-round draft pick, and a future second-round draft pick.
Griffin has largely delivered what was expected of him in Detroit. He has not been a meaningful game-changer as far as wins and losses go, but he made the Pistons far more relevant than they otherwise would have been. While his injury-prone nature obviously left something to be desired, the Pistons knew what they were getting into.
They wanted a star who would make headlines both on and off the court, and that is what Griffin was.
Next season, Griffin has a player option. One year later, he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
This week, the 31-year-old was asked about his future in Detroit with free agency looming in the distance.
“It’s not a decision that I have to make in the immediate future,” Griffin said.
“And I know, I’m sorry, I’m just kind of running around that question, but it’s just true. Things can change.”
From an individual standpoint, Griffin is a very accomplished player. He is a six-time NBA All-Star, three-time All-NBA Second Team member, two-time All-NBA Third Team member and a former NBA Rookie of the Year.
What has eluded Griffin throughout his career, however, is any sort of meaningful team success.
“The individual awards and these things are fine, and I’m appreciative of them, but I just want to win,” Griffin said.
Paulina Gretzky knows what she’s doing.https://t.co/zfKrfjY8iP
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 3, 2021
“Not making it to a conference final, yeah, it does gnaw at me. Not to the point where I’m losing sleep over it. But that’s the main goal — I want to win.”
With that in mind, it’s hard to see a scenario where Griffin remains with the Pistons long-term. The franchise is still very far away from being a serious player in the East, and that is unlikely to change in the next couple of years.
Griffin is one of the more memorable players of his generation, and it will be interesting to see if he can ultimately find a place to compete for a championship in his twilight years.