Blake Griffin will be free to sign with the Nets or another interested NBA team after agreeing to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons.
The Nets are “believed to be [the] leaders” to add Griffin, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted, adding “rival teams with interest are expecting Griffin to choose [Brooklyn] as a title favorite for [a] chance to win a championship.”
The Lakers, Heat, Warriors, Blazers, Celtics and Clippers – his former team — are among those that have also expressed interest, according to multiple reports.
The 31-year-old Griffin hasn’t played since Feb. 12 while the Pistons attempted to trade him before the March 25 deadline, but they found no takers due to the remainder of his $36.6 million salary for this season and the $39 million he’s owed for 2021-22.
The Nets have won 10 of their last 11 games to enter the All-Star break with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference (24-13), a half-game behind Philadelphia.
Kevin Durant has missed the past nine games with a hamstring injury, and Steve Nash mostly has employed a smaller lineup with 6-4 Bruce Brown playing power forward.
Durant will sit out Sunday’s All-Star Game, but the Nets still will be represented by guards Kyrie Irving and James Harden.
After Griffin clears waivers on Sunday, the Nets could use their mid-level exception (around $5.6 million) to sign him as frontcourt depth behind Durant and DeAndre Jordan, a former teammate with the Clippers. Griffin also worked out with Durant over the summer in Los Angeles.
Griffin is averaging a career-low 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20 games this season. He was dealt by the Clippers to Detroit in 2018, during the first season of a five-year extension worth $171 million.
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