Today the word came out that Blake Griffin had been traded to the Detroit Pistons, in exchange for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjonavic, and future picks. However, while the Pistons may be receiving a front-court All-Star, this is far from a steal for the Pistons.
Firstly, what exactly does Blake Griffin bring to the Pistons. Well, he brings low post-scoring and rebounds, with the occasional three pointer. Who does that sound similar to? Oh, thats right…the Pistons starting centre, Andre Drummond.
Sure, the argument can be made that it takes pressure off of Drummond, but this isn’t the main issue. The Pistons just gave away a modern era PF and one of the leagues best defenders, Detroit’s second string centre as well as draft picks for a poor man’s Andre Drummond.
It begins with the fact that this is alot for a second option on a team that is consistently injured…or punching training equipment staff. Since the 2014-15 season, Griffin has missed almost 100 games. The Pistons are throwing alot away for a guy who could very well be sitting in a suit more than in the blue and red of Detroit.
The other question remains is the holes left by departing players; who is taking Bradley’s place in the lineup. Well. let’s break it down.
In the back-court, joining a healthy Reggie Jackson, is…Luke Kennard? Ignoring the fact he’s a white dude now in Detroit, he’s a rookie who has been unimpressive so far. Shooting 43% from the field while averaging only 6.9 points on 18 minutes, it’s a reach to say he can fill the shoes of Avery Bradley. Even if Kennard can increase his averages due to more minutes, it’s hard to believe that he will be able to guard the perimeter like Bradley.
And if the Piston’s don’t feel like Kennard is ready yet, they can have the always consistent…Langston Galloway?
And as far as trying to dominate in the east, this isn’t really going to do much. It’s obvious the Pistons are in “buy-now” mode, but in order to contend they need to beat; an up and coming team led by the GOAT of twitter, a Bucks team that isn’t at full capacity, a dysfunctional Lebron sideshow, a DC backourt deciding whether they like eachother, a team ran by a guy from the stone-age, Barney and friends and the Flat-Earthers Club.
So to do this, they get a player similar to their franchise star. Not a player who can shoot and space the ball, not a two way player able to lock up a star and dominate on the other end. Not even do they get a pick and roll tandem created with Drummond. They buy into the hype of “ohhh look at the shiny All-Star”. Rather than trying to get a player to fit their system, they get a player who they will shape their system to.