While their “Big 3” took part in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, the Brooklyn Nets managed to add even more firepower to its ranks on Sunday night with the signing of forward Blake Griffin.
Using one of their veteran-minimum-contract slots to fit him in on the roster, Griffin reunites with former Los Angeles Clippers teammate, now Nets center, DeAndre Jordan, where he can perform at the 5 in a small-ball lineup.
He can also come off the bench behind Kevin Durant at the power forward spot.
Griffin was having the worst season of his career during his third full campaign with the Detroit Pistons. He was averaging 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per game this year.
It’s a far cry from his first 10 NBA seasons where the 2009 No. 1 draft pick averaged 21.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 4.4 assists.
His struggles prompted a buyout in Detroit, allowing the Nets to bring him on.
The Nets will pay him $5.9 million and will make an additional $29.8 million from the Pistons next year.
Nabbing Griffin allows the Nets to inject a proven, skilled big man into its ranks for a championship chase that has them sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference at the start of the second half of the season.
Brooklyn’s depth in the frontcourt had been suspect since gutting most of it in the James Harden mega-deal in January. With Jarrett Allen going to Cleveland, it left Jordan — who spent nine years along with Griffin in Los Angeles — as the Nets’ only option at center while Nic Claxton recovered from a hamstring injury.
With Claxton back in the fold, Griffin only helps to bolster the position behind Jordan while providing the versatility to play the 4, especially with Durant nursing a hamstring injury, Jeff Green dealing with a shoulder issue, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot suffering from a hip contusion.