Blake Griffin’s mission in coming to Brooklyn isn’t about improving stats or winning dunk contests, and it’s certainly not about making money. He left cash on the table in Detroit to join the Nets for a reason.
“My only goal is to help win a championship,” Griffin said in a question and answer session with fans on the Bleacher Report Live app. “Some years it is more realistic than others. But that’s why I came to Brooklyn. “
Griffin officially arrived in Brooklyn on Monday, after being bought out by Detroit. The veteran power forward sacrificed $ 13 million to leave the Pistons, for whom he averaged 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20 games this season.
James Harden, who turned down a $ 103 million two-way extension from Houston to join the Nets, said that move showed just how serious Griffin is about winning a championship.
“Yeah, I’m sure he wants to win, if he passed up the money to stay in Detroit, obviously,” Harden said. “He wants to win and he wants a chance to play meaningful minutes and I guess that’s one of the reasons he came.”
Griffin also came because, since trading Jarrett Allen, the Nets have become a contender with extreme needs for depth on the front court. After forward Kevin Durant and center DeAndre Jordan, the only proven big man is Jeff Green, and he’s too short to play center.
There are minutes left with the Nets and a role to play.
“They need a 4 man,” Griffin said. “I’ve always had a lot of respect for Steve Nash and all the guys they have there. [General manager] Sean Marks has done a great job there. It was a difficult decision and I wanted to be on a team that competed ”.
The Nets qualified long before Griffin’s addition. Adding James Harden to the team with Durant and Kyrie Irving in January has made them favorites in the NBA Finals.
Griffin had joined Jordan on the Clippers from 2011-17, forming Lob City. And he played alongside Bruce Brown the last two seasons in Detroit. He pointed to Brown’s presence as another selling point.
“We go back,” Griffin said. “Anyone with whom you are so familiar always makes it easier. That definitely played a role. “
Marks not only landed Griffin, but he did so on a minimum veteran contract of $ 1.22 million. Keeping both the mid-level exception and the disabled player exception suggests targets for the trade deadline of March 25 or the purchase deadline of April 9. Names like Andre Drummond, Otto Porter Jr. and JJ Redick will be discussed.
Either way, for now the Nets have Griffin.
Of course, after the 2019 knee surgery, he’s not the skywalker who averaged 24.5 points two seasons ago in his sixth All-Star season, or jumped on a Kia in the 2011 Slam Dunk contest. He scored 1,005 times with the Clippers, but only 55 times with the Pistons, none this season.
But he provides passing (averaging 3.9 assists), size (6-foot-9, 250 pounds) and intelligence that will play well in the Big Three.
“Obviously we know the athletic and jumper Blake, but I think the last two years he’s dropped the 3-ball a little better, the ball handling is so much better and he can be a great contribution to this team,” Harden said. . “We would be more than welcome and excited to have him join our Brooklyn Nets team.”
When asked if he would take more balloons, Griffin only replied, “We’ll see …”
Even if you don’t, your physical strength and basketball brain will suffice.