Should the Sixers Pursue Blake Griffin After Buyout?

NBA: JAN 12 Pistons at Clippers
January 12, 2019 – Los Angeles, California, U.S – Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons takes a shot during their NBA game with the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday January 12, 2019 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Clippers lose to Pistons, 109-104 (Photo by Prensa Internacional/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons have officially parted ways after agreeing to the buyout. Should the Sixers pursue the former All-Star?

The former first overall pick has an impressive resume. One that would have made the Sixers jump at the opportunity, at least three years ago.

After a great start in Detroit, injuries cut short Griffin’s Pistons’ career. He now finds himself in search of a new team, preferably a contender.

The Sixers didn’t make the initial list of interested teams, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t curious about adding Griffin. The better question is should they be interested.

Why The Sixers Should Not Pursue Griffin

Does Blake Griffin even fit this Sixers team? He’s a ball-handling power forward who is not much of a shooting threat save for a two-year stretch that is still one of the NBA’s greatest mysteries.

He certainly wouldn’t start in place of Tobias Harris. Hopefully, Doc Rivers wouldn’t even consider sliding Harris to small forward so Blake could start. Plus, Griffin hasn’t even shown as of late that he can be relied on to start.

Over the past two seasons, Griffin just hasn’t looked like himself. He’s been injured, which is the prime reason for the decline. Griffin has only played in 38 games over the past two seasons combined.

Injuries are nothing new to Griffin, who has dealt with them over his 12-year career. Recently though, the injuries have nagged him far more than in the past. There is a huge red flag attached to Griffin for this very reason.

Can Griffin overcome the injuries and look somewhat like the player we once knew? Maybe, but those are not kind odds. The better question is can Griffin change his game to fit a role and help a contender?

Why The Sixers Should Pursue Griffin

The Sixers need talent. Period. This team is extremely top-heavy, and they need to be extremely active in both the trade and buyout market. Griffin is not the player he used to be true, but he is certainly an improvement over some of the current roster.

Griffin could play as a combo power forward/center backing up Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris. When the Sixers need some offense, he would be a great option over Dwight Howard as a rim running, floor stretching, pick and roll option. Offensively he’s much more versatile than Howard.

He’s also an obvious upgrade over Mike Scott. Maybe he’s not as consistent a shooter, but he’s an upgrade in every other measurable there is. The Sixers need more from their back four spot, and Doc Rivers hasn’t been shy about it.

Griffin would also provide the Sixers with some extra ball-handling, a nice luxury especially come playoff time. The Sixers would certainly become deeper by adding Blake Griffin.

The Verdict

There are a couple of ifs associated with Griffin working in Philly. First, he has to want to come here. Playing for the top team in the East? Great, but it’s not that simple. Griffin was not too happy after the now Sixers coach traded him to Detroit (who would be) and allegedly still harbors bad feelings.

Second, Griffin would have to be content with a reserve role. His play as of late suggests he should have no issue with this. Still, obviously, a players’ pride rarely coincides with their ability.

If Blake Griffin is fine with all of that, then the Sixers should absolutely pursue him. He may not be the player he once was. Still, players of Griffin’s ability and potential rarely, if ever, hit the buyout market.

There’s just not much risk in signing Griffin. The Sixers would be foolish if they didn’t toss an offer out there. It’s just a matter if Griffin would reciprocate that interest.