Blake Griffin released by Pistons with Nets favored to sign him

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.

Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021

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.

Per: NYP

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