The Los Angeles Lakers are among several title contenders to express interest in Detroit Pistons big man Blake Griffin once he becomes a free agent, according to the New York Times’ Marc Stein. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier on Friday that the long-time Clipper has reached agreement on a buyout with the Pistons that will see him hit the free agent market just as teams go on a week-long break.
According to Stein, the Clippers, Nets, Heat and Warriors have also shown their interest in the former dunk champ. Wojnarowski also reports that “most” contenders are interested in signing him, while also adding the Blazers as a candidate. Perhaps notably, Wojnarowski does not explicitly mention the Lakers as a candidate. We will just have to see how these rumors develop over the next week or so.
Griffin is one of the most talented players to hit the buyout market in recent years but that does not mean he does not come with plenty of risk. The 31-year-old averaged just 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game before being shut down while the Pistons looked for a solution to either trade or waive him. He’s definitely not the six-time All-Star that he used to be, as he’s definitely lost most of his former athleticism through age and injury. He notably does not have a dunk this season.
Griffin’s market may be shrunk slightly due to interest in Cavaliers big man Andre Drummond who is likely to be traded but could similarly hit the buyout market.
The Lakers have shown a desire for depth in the frontcourt through signing Damian Jones to a 10-day contract last week. Whether Griffin can provide that after his many injuries is a reasonable question but it is not a surprise that the Lakers would show interest in the former All-NBA star.