Pistons: A Struggling Blake Griffin Continues to Hinder Detroit

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

When the Detroit Pistons made the trade to acquire superstar Blake Griffin, I immediately bought into the hype, but it’s turning into a deal that will haunt Detroit for years to come.

The Detroit Pistons made the blockbuster to acquire Blake Griffin to create some buzz within the fanbase.  It was owner Tom Gores’ effort to express to this city he’s serious about winning and is willing to trade for a superstar since landing premier free agents has become nearly impossible in today’s NBA.

When the Pistons sent forward Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley along with a draft pick to the L.A. Clippers in exchange for Blake Griffin and a throwaway Willie Reed, I was very excited.  That followed with immediate disappointment realizing my favorite player in Harris was headed out of town.

If I’m being completely candid, I enjoyed watching Bradley play as well.  He played with some swagger, especially on the defensive end of the floor.  Avery played like a junk hard dog salivating over a bone, with the ball in the hand of whoever he was guarding serving as a bone with the dog owner continuing to taunt the beast.

More from Detroit Jock City

I can’t help but wonder where this Detroit Piston’s team would be right now with Tobias Harris rather than Blake Griffin.  

As much as I respect Griffin, and trust me, I do.  He’s only a year removed from producing a career year in nearly all offensive categories.  He single-handily carried Detroit to the playoffs last season.  He played two playoff games on one leg.  He was limping his way around the hardwood in front of his home crowd when it was evident he had no business playing due to the severity of his injury.  So, no, this isn’t an article to bash Griffin, but it’s a question that needs to be asked.

Detroit is 12-21 on the season.  Blake Griffin is shooting a mere 35% from the field so far in 2019. That’s by far a career-low for the 30-year old star.  Blake is only averaging 15.5 PPG, another career low.  His 4.7 boards/game is also a career-low.

You see the trend here, don’t you?

Griffin is a depressing 3-22 from three-point range over his last three games.  It’s incredible he still continues to jack them up.  Overall he’s shooting just 24% from behind the arc.

When Tobias Harris was moved, the reasoning seemed to be that the Pistons were reluctant to dish out a max contract for his services.  Plus, you couldn’t rule out the chance of him entertaining the thought of testing out the market as a free agent.

Harris, the 27-year old is averaging 19.7PPG to go with his near 49% shooting from the field.  Tobias is also shooting 34% from beyond the arc while averaging 6.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists so far in 2019 with the Sixers.

I can’t help but wonder how he’d fit beside Derrick Rose, Luke Kennard, and Andre Drummond this season.

Tobias Harris recently signed a five-year $180-million deal in Philadelphia that averages $36-million/season. Griffin is in the midst of a five-year $171-million deal that will expire at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

When you think about it, Griffin is undoubtedly the better player when he’s healthy, but the lingering question will always remain.  Will Griffin ever be completely healthy again?

Detroit is in a hard spot because, at the moment, Blake is a liability on the court, and his contract, when grouped with his production, makes him untradeable.

Next. Six Players to Target in the 2020 NFL Draft. dark

I expect the broken down Blake will be the one we witness from here on out in Detroit, and that’s a shame, but at least he gave us one year of excitement that translated to a sweeping first-round exit.