Pis­tons close to grab­bing Grif­fin

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports -

DETROIT — The Detroit Pis­tons were fi­nal­iz­ing a trade Mon­day night to ac­quire star for­ward Blake Grif­fin from the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers, ac­cord­ing to a per­son with knowl­edge of the deal.

The per­son spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the trade had not been an­nounced. The Pis­tons would send for­ward To­bias Har­ris, guard Avery Bradley and cen­tre Boban Mar­janovic to Los An­ge­les, with the Clip­pers also re­ceiv­ing draft picks. Detroit also would re­ceive for­ward Brice John­son and cen­tre Wil­lie Reed. ESPN first re­ported the deal. Grif­fin is av­er­ag­ing 22.6 points, 7.9 re­bounds and 5.4 as­sists in 33 games this sea­son, but the Clip­pers have been plagued by in­juries and are ninth in the Western Con­fer­ence stand­ings.

Detroit is strug­gling as well. The Pis­tons have lost eight straight head­ing into tonight’s game against Cleve­land.

The 28-year-old Grif­fin has been the face of the Clip­pers while play­ing his en­tire ca­reer with the team. Last July, he agreed to a $171 mil­lion, five-year deal, end­ing a brief flir­ta­tion with free agency. He told his team­mates, coach Doc Rivers and owner Steve Ballmer, “I want my legacy to be a Clip­per.”

The deal didn’t in­clude a no­trade clause.

The Clip­pers drafted Grif­fin first over­all out of Ok­la­homa in 2009.

How­ever, he missed the 2009-10 sea­son af­ter surgery on his bro­ken left kneecap, the first of sev­eral in­juries that have marred his ca­reer.

Grif­fin missed 21 games last sea­son and 47 in 2015-16 be­cause of in­juries.

As a rookie, he was an All-Star, won the slam dunk con­test and was named NBA Rookie of the Year.

He has av­er­aged 21.6 points, 9.3 re­bounds and 4.2 as­sists in his ca­reer.

Detroit’s sea­son was look­ing promising un­til a late-De­cem­ber in­jury to point guard Reggie Jackson. The Pis­tons have stum­bled while he’s been out with a sprained right an­kle.

The ad­di­tion of Grif­fin would give Detroit’s front­court an­other stand­out along­side An­dre Drum­mond.

For the Clip­pers, mov­ing Grif­fin would con­tinue a makeover of a fran­chise that has never made it past the sec­ond round of the play­offs. They traded All-Star point guard Chris Paul to Hous­ton last sum­mer.

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