The Detroit Pistons plan to keep Blake Griffin out of the lineup while he and the organization work out a decision on his future, a sign the star forward’s days with the team could be numbered.
“After extensive conversation with Blake’s representatives, it has been determined that we will begin working to facilitate a resolution regarding his future with the team that maximizes the interests of both parties,” Pistons general manager Troy Weaver said in a statement Monday. “We respect all the effort Blake has put forth in Detroit and his career and will work to achieve a positive outcome for all involved.”
Griffin, who turns 32 next month, came to Detroit in a trade during the 2017-18 season, but the Pistons have made just one postseason appearance with him and have spent much of the last year overhauling their roster in earnest. Detroit is 8-19 this season, and Griffin has already missed seven games.
If he is traded or leaves via a buyout, it could give the popular veteran a chance to play more meaningful games than what Detroit can offer at this stage.
“I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to accomplish in my career and for working together on the best path forward,” Griffin said.
Griffin was able to stay mostly healthy during a terrific 2018-19 season, but even then, he missed two of the four games when Detroit was swept in the first round of the playoffs. He eventually had knee surgery and played only 18 games last season.
Griffin was one of few holdovers on the roster when this season began, and the Pistons recently traded one of them when they sent Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks. Rookies Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart have contributed enough to give fans some reason for optimism, and Jerami Grant is averaging 23 points a game in his first season after coming to Detroit from Denver.
With so many new faces, Griffin has been an afterthought at times, averaging 12.3 points — a career-low.