Blake Griffin was unhappy with the Detroit Pistons. You could tell by the way he played on a nightly basis as he looked uninterested and unmotivated. In 20 games this year, Griffin averaged 12 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and shot 36-percent from the field and 31-percent from deep.
It wasn't pretty. And after a while, the Pistons realized that holding on to Griffin could hurt them more than it can help them. Therefore, they decided to rest the veteran forward so he'll stay healthy while they sought out a trade suitor for him.
As expected, there were crickets. With Griffin's salary being well over $35 million this season and the next, teams weren't willing to match or pay for that. Therefore, it was evident the Pistons would eventually have to bit the bullet and buy him out.
Finally, they did. On Friday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Pistons would buy Griffin out. Suddenly, the veteran forward has a market. Although nobody wanted to trade for Griffin, teams are more than willing to sign him now that he's available.
Are the Philadelphia 76ers one of those squads?
A few weeks ago, the Sixers were briefly linked to Griffin. As Philly could use a backup power forward for Tobias Harris, they've shown interest in some veterans around the league. Sports Illustrated's own Senior Writer Howard Beck considered the Sixers to be a potential destination if and when Griffin got bought out, but I debated against that.
"The idea of Griffin makes sense. As the Sixers have lacked power forward depth all year long, and the primary backup Mike Scott has battled injuries and on-court struggles in the very few games he's played in, Philly could use some help there. I'm just not sure if actually getting Griffin makes sense.
In the 20 games he played with Detroit, Griffin averaged 12 points-per-game, shooting 36-percent from the field and 31-percent from beyond-the-arc. Being inconsistent from three and much less aggressive scoring in the paint, Griffin might not give the Sixers anything they don't already have off the bench."
Griffin played lousy in Detroit -- everybody knows that. Sure, you could chalk his struggles all up to the guy being disgruntled and disinterested in playing hard for the Pistons, and I'll probably agree.
But that doesn't change the fact that Griffin and Sixers head coach Doc Rivers haven't necessarily squashed their issues from the past. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe reported in January of 2019 that Griffin "still harbors hard feelings towards Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers" after their ugly breakup.
While Rivers is no longer a part of the Clippers' organization, it still seems Griffin had a personal vendetta against his former head coach. With the Sixers' team chemistry at an all-time high this season, risking losing that for a backup power forward probably isn't in Philly's best interest.
As the Pistons bought out Griffin on Friday afternoon, several teams such as the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, and the Portland Trail Blazers are reportedly interested. Currently, the Sixers are not.