Pistons close to grabbing Griffin
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.