Blake Griffin left $13 million on the table to get out of Detroit, and the NBA will have us believe Griffin did it without any contact with other teams. If he had talked to a player or official from another team, that would represent a violation of tampering rules, and we know the NBA is consistent and stick when it comes to tampering.
At this point, we can say DeAndre Jordan is the highest-paid consultant in the NBA. The Nets were heavily criticized for giving DeAndre his 4 years/$40 million contract, and if you only viewed his on-court production, it makes sense. But factor in the fact Jordan is their main "keep Kyrie in line" guy, the glue guy that nudges everyone in the right ball-sharing direction, and now talking to Blake "until the appropriate time," and the money he's getting paid makers more sense.
The Nets aren't getting the car jumping Griffin, who dominated the paint with DeAndre Jordan years ago. Particularly this season, we are not talking about an All-Star caliber player anymore. The numerous injuries to his left knee don't allow Griffin to dunk at all. But judging by his statement, Blake roughly knows what will be required of him in the Nets.
“They have a need for a four-man. I've always had a lot of respect for Steve Nash and all of the guys they have. Sean Marks has done a great job there. It was a tough decision, and I wanted to be on a team that was contending. My only goal is to help win a championship. Some years it's more realistic than others. But that's why I came to Brooklyn.”
Blake Griffin, BR
A lot of coaches say the most difficult player to manage is a former superstar that still thinks he's in his prime. Griffin's words let us know Steve Nash won't have that problem. We won't have a Carmelo Anthony press conference laughing about coming off the bench.
The question is, how will Blake help the Nets? Clearly, they don't need points, and Blake won't help them on defense. Griffin is scoring 12.3 points this season, shooting a modest 36.5% from the floor and 21.5% from deep. However, the former Detroit Piston could help with his assists. He has 4.4 assists per game in his career, while this season, he averaged 3.9 assists per game for the Pistons.
Although his injuries have taken away his athleticism, Griffin is still a player with a high IQ and will certainly be of great help to the Nets. He can read the game and can easily find players outside the arc or those who cut behind. Think Boris Diaw on the Spurs.
This season, when he probably felt he didn't have many more years of career ahead of him, Blake decided to give himself one last chance for the title. We'll see if he made the right choice.