From Lob City to Motor City, Blake Griffin has been traded to the Detroit Pistons.
The Clippers didn’t get anything crazily substantial in the trade—just Avery Bradley, whose contract is up in another season; Tobias Harris, who has two years left on his contract; Boban Marjanovic; and a first- and second-round draft pick. Doc Rivers is likely glad to have Avery Bradley back on his roster, as the two worked well together back in Boston.
But in what looks to be the beginning of a rebuilding phase, it’s the best the team could have done. In unloading Griffin, the Pistons will now have to fulfill his $35 million+ per season contract. Matched with Andre Drummond’s $125 million contract, the Pistons will be paying a ton of money to two talented players with no helpful surroundings.
Griffin had a brief flirtation with free agency this summer, but the Clippers were sure to lock him in with a $171 million, five-year deal that obviously didn’t include a no-trade clause. And the team is sending Brice Johnson and Willie Reed to Detroit alongside Griffin.
As rumors began to pick up on Twitter that the nine-year Clipper would be heading east, it was soon proved to be correct. Griffin had the best reaction:
After the dust settled, the 29 year old offered a more poignant response, saying he was glad to have spent the bulk of his career in Los Angeles, but now he has a new home in Detroit and is ready to make a run in the east for once.
Griffin is averaging 22.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 5.4 assists. Alongside Drummond, and with Reggie Jackson playing the point as Chris Paul would, he is part of a fresh start in the Motor City. In the meantime, the Pistons have lost eight straight games—we’ll see how they fare against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.