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HELLO BROOKLYN! Nets likely landing spot for Blake Griffin after Pistons buyout

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Brooklyn Nets v Detroit Pistons Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

After working a buyout with the Pistons Friday, Blake Griffin appears headed to Brooklyn, according to various reports on Twitter.

Adrian Wojnarowski, who broke the buyout news, also reported that the Nets were among the leaders for the six-time All-Star’s services.

The Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers are expected to be among the teams Griffin will be considering for his next stop, sources tell ESPN.

Griffin, 31, is expected to make a decision on his next team after conversations with prospective teams, sources said.

The Pistons and Griffin announced the buyout and waiver just before close of business Friday, Shams Charania tweeted that Griffin gave up a substantial amount to gain his freedom ... and reiterated his belief that Brooklyn is his next stop.

Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times wrote early Saturday that while the Lakers are interested in Griffin —and he could help them— the Nets are in the lead.

The point is probably moot — sources have confirmed that Brooklyn appears to be the leader to gain Griffin’s employment.

Griffin will now become an unrestricted free agent Sunday afternoon, As of Saturday, the Nets have one open roster spot. Tyler Cook’s 10-day contract expired Friday. On Sunday, the Nets’ two other 10-day contracts — Andre Roberson and Iman Shumpert — will expire. The Nets can renew any of the three 10-day players for a second 10-day but it would make no sense to start the extension during the All-Star Break. Also, Sunday is the guarantee date for two-way Chris Chiozza, giving them another potential opening.

Griffin has several connections to the Nets. He is close to DeAndre Jordan, with whom he played eight years as part of the Clippers‘ “Lob City.” He also worked out with the Nets “Big Three” in Los Angeles last summer and played two years in Detroit with Bruce Brown.

Griffin will receive approximately $63 million (no stretch). Should he require more than a vets minimum deal to sign, the Nets have the taxpayers MLE (as long as Joe Tsai is willing to pay more in luxury tax.) Yossi Gozlan, Hoopshype’s capologist did the math...

None of the other competitors for Griffin can offer more than the veterans minimum.

Griffin, of course, has lost more than a bit of his once staggering athleticism to injury. Over the past several years, he’s had issues with both knees, his back, his right big toe, his right ankle over the years, with the most recent event, arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in April 2019, leading to a big drop-off.

Kevin Pelton of ESPN wrote this following news of the impending buyout...

As has been much noted, Griffin has yet to successfully dunk this season. Per analysis of data from Basketball-Reference.com, Griffin is the only player taller than 6-foot-7 to attempt more than 150 shots this season without a single dunk.

But he has other skills. On January 28, he scored 23 points, shot 5-of-10 from deep and handed out six assists in an upset of the Lakers. No dunks, but some nice moves and neat passes.

He played only 20 games this season before the Pistons shut him down on February 15. He was averaging 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists.

Last season, when he was limited to 18 games, Griffin averaged 15.5 points, 4.7 boards and 3.3 assists. Here’s video all his field goals from 2019-20.

Two years ago, when he was last healthy, Griffin averaged 24.5 points, 7.5 boards and 5.4 assists while shooting 36.2 percent from deep. Like Harden, Durant and Irving, Griffin made the All-NBA team.

An executive for an Eastern Conference playoff team told HoopsHype’s Mike Scotto last month that he sees Griffin in a back-up role. “He could provide a spark off of the bench. If he’s healthy, he could start if the team had a need, but he’s probably more of a rotation player right now.”

Frank Urbina, also of Hoopshype, offered this assessment of how Griffin could help the Nets, even based on his performance this year.

Taking a look at Synergy Sports, we can see Griffin is still an ‘excellent’ point producer as a pick-and-roll ball-handler and a ‘very good’ scorer in transition and as the roll man in pick-and-roll sets. That type of versatile scoring is hard to find, particularly players who can produce as both the creator and finisher in all-important pick-and-roll sets, so crucial in the modern NBA...

Griffin’s most effective play type this season by far has been as the pick-and-roll ball-handler, unique for a traditional power forward.

Out of those sets, Griffin has posted 38 possessions and produced 43 points, good for a 1.132 point-per-possession (PPP) mark, which places him in the 93rd percentile league-wide, per Synergy, in what’s considered the ‘excellent’ range.

Similarly, Zach Lowe on a recent episode of his “Lowe Post” podcast suggested that Griffin, with his BBIQ, post and passing skills, could fit as a back-up 5 in Brooklyn.