Detroit Pistons: Blake Griffin fine playing out contract or moving on

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

A rebuild isn’t usually something a veteran superstar is ready to embrace, but Blake Griffin is prepared to support the Detroit Pistons.

The Detroit Pistons are set to enter transition within their front office. Ed Stefanski, who’s been acting as the teams’ General Manager (GM) and done an excellent job in my opinion, will soon have a couple of fresh new faces at his side; maybe Chauncey Billups or Tayshaun Prince.

While we expect to see the organizations’ front office receive a facelift, the active roster is also likely to see plenty of changes over the next calendar year.  It seems unfathomable to think a roster that just seen a massive overhaul is poised to see yet another one, but it’s inevitable.

When the Detroit Pistons hired Dwane Casey just after winning coach of the year with the Toronto Raptors yet fired in favor of Nick Nurse, he was expected to elevate the organization to become a middle of the road Eastern Conference playoff team.  Many understood Detroit wouldn’t be a one or two seed right away, but perhaps a four seed and hosting a playoff series and winning a round or two became the expectation.

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Things haven’t worked out that way for Detroit.  The Detroit Pistons were forced to lean on the often injured star forward Blake Griffin.  Griffin willed the organization to the playoffs but was injured as the playoffs began pushing him to play in just two of Detroit’s contests en route to being swept by the Milwaukee Bucks.

This past season proved to be much of the same.  It was a lost season for two of Detroit’s top players, Luke Kennard, along with the aforementioned Griffin, amongst others.

The Detroit Pistons weren’t a middle of the road Eastern Conference team; they weren’t even a fringe playoff team.  Like many of the Detroit sports organizations in their respected leagues, the Pistons were a lottery contender for the first overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Griffin is entering the final year of his contract is due to make a whopping $36.5-million also owns a player option for 2021-22 that, if exercised, will pay him $39-million.

That $39-million deal is far to rich to pass up.  As good as Griffin is, the injury-prone forward won’t find anything near that amount elsewhere if he were to opt-out.  I understand, nothing is impossible, the Detroit Tigers found a way to move Prince Fielder but moving Griffin seems like a long-shot.

As the organization transitions its front office and roster, many star players become disgruntled, especially while playing for a below-average ball club, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with Blake.

In an article published by the Detroit News, Griffin expresses his easy-going personality;

"“That’s up to the front office, what they want to do, how they want to go about it,” Griffin said. “At a certain time, at the right time, we’ll have those conversations. If I’m on the Detroit Pistons, then I’m doing everything I can to prepare to play for them and win games, that’s just how you’re wired as a player.”“I don’t see this as being my last contract,” Griffin said. “I don’t see this as like a decline, no. I haven’t given it that much thought.”"

It’s very beneficial to have a leader with this type of personality.  Many veteran players would be kicking and screaming, begging to be shipped out of town during a rebuild.  Having Derrick Rose and Griffin at the top of this Detroit roster displaying authentic leadership is exceptionally beneficial for the young players rostered.

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Griffin understands the business side of things.  Although he’s confident in his abilities, he knows his deal is a difficult one to trade.  His hard-working personality fits the landscape of Metro Detroit.  He’s a perfect fit for this city, and the hope is Detroit can surround the star in two years with a capable youth foundation with playoff aspirations once again.