After clearing waivers on Sunday following the completion of a buyout agreement with the Detroit Pistons, Blake Griffin is joining All-Stars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden in Brooklyn, according to the Associated Press.
Though Griffin is not the player he once was, the six-time All-Star will certainly add some firepower to an already potent Brooklyn offense and is an intriguing piece for a Nets team that has won nine of its last 10 games despite missing Durant in recent weeks.
The addition of Griffin, who is only averaging 12.3 points in 20 games this season, brings some depth to a Brooklyn frontcourt that is pretty thin but will also probably be boosted further in the coming weeks as more players are bought out and become free agents.
“I’m sure he wants to win. If he passed up more money (from) Detroit, he wants to win, and he wants to have an opportunity to play meaningful minutes. I’m assuming that’s one of the reasons why he came,” Harden said.
“Obviously, we know the athletic and high-jumping Blake. But I think as of these last couple years, he’s knocking down the 3-ball a little bit better, ballhandling is a lot better and he can be a great contribution to this team.”
The No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft, 31-year-old Griffin has averaged 21.4 points and 8.7 rebounds overall in his 11 seasons in the NBA.
Averaging a league-leading 121.1 points per game, the Nets are a half-game back of the 76ers for the best record in the Eastern Conference and are one of the favorites to win the NBA title.
Brooklyn’s championship chances will increase if the team is able to add Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond via trade or a buyout following the trade deadline.
An unrestricted free agent this summer, Drummond would be a perfect short-term rental for a Brooklyn team that is lacking size and rim protection. Already benched by Cleveland in anticipation of being moved, Drummond is certainly not staying with the Cavaliers and league insiders consider the Nets the favorite to add him even after the arrival of Griffin.
The Nets will open the second half of the season on Thursday against the Boston Celtics and should be getting Durant back in the coming weeks after his hamstring is re-evaluated following the completion of the All-Star break.