When they acquired him in a blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2018, the Detroit Pistons viewed Blake Griffin as the player that would help Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson carry the team to the NBA Finals and end their years of playoff drought. Unfortunately, since Griffin arrived in Detroit, the Pistons have been nothing but a huge disappointment and their greatest achievement was being swept in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs last season. With the Pistons set to miss the postseason this year, rumors have started to circulate that Detroit might finally consider rebuilding their team.
In a video conference call with the Detroit Free Press on Thursday, Griffin decided to break his silence on the trade rumors surrounding him and his future with the Pistons. Though it no longer makes sense for a 31-year-old superstar like him to stay on a rebuilding team, Griffin said he will let the front office decide whether they still see him as part of their long-term plan.
“That’s up to the front office,” Griffin said, speaking of the trade rumors. “Depends on what they want to do and how they want to go about it. At a certain time, at the right time, I’ll have those conversations.”
At this point in his NBA career, Griffin would undeniably be better off playing for a legitimate title contender than wasting his time in Detroit. However, as of now, he doesn’t seem to have any problem spending the next few seasons as a Piston. Griffin said that as long as he’s an official member of their roster, he would do anything the Pistons ask of him.
“If I’m on the Detroit Pistons, I’m doing everything I can to prepare to play for them and win games,” Griffin said. “That’s just how you’re wired to play as far as what we do in the offseason, what we’re going to do next year, that’s going to be up to them. Whenever the time is right, we’ll have that conversation.”
Since undergoing knee surgery earlier this year, Griffin has already shown massive improvement with his rehabilitation. Though he admitted he’s still not 100 percent healthy, he is very confident he would reach that point “quickly.” The All-Star power forward has already started on-court workouts last month, and he and his trainer recently came up with a plan to escalate his training.
However, even if Griffin won’t be traded this summer, he would no longer share the court with the two players he was supposed to help carry the Pistons back to title contention. Before the February NBA trade deadline, Drummond was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for John Henson, Brandon Knight, and a future second-round pick. Meanwhile, after being waived by the Pistons, Jackson ended up signing with the Los Angeles Clippers.