The Pistons said Blake Griffin‘s knee injury couldn’t get any worse by playing late last season. Griffin missed Detroit’s first two playoff games, played the final two games of the Bucks sweep then underwent offseason knee surgery. The Pistons said he wasn’t expected to miss any offseason training. Instead, Griffin missed the first 10 games of the regular season and continued to face knee issues even after returning.
Now, a bad situation could prove to be even worse.
Detroit Pistons star forward Blake Griffin will visit a specialist this week because of his ailing left knee and season-ending surgery is being considered, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
This is a disaster for the Pistons, both in the short and long term.
Detroit paid a substantial cost to get Griffin from the Clippers a couple years ago, even amid long-term health concerns. The hope was he’d help enough early in his contract, but the Pistons have zero playoff wins with Griffin. The 30-year-old’s deal will likely age poorly. Griffin is guaranteed $75,768,024 over the next two seasons.
The Pistons are 13-24 – not good, though still within striking distance of the Eastern Conference playoffs. But making a postseason push without Griffin would be even more of a longshot. Detroit is 8-10 with him and 5-14 without him.
It’ll be interesting to see how this affects Andre Drummond trade talks. Will the Pistons accept this as a lost season and get whatever value they can as Drummond approaches free agency? Or will they prioritize keeping one big name to draw fans?
Either way, Detroit is on the hook for Griffin’s salary the next couple years. Drummond is a secondary concern. Building around Griffin – either by getting him supporting pieces in an attempt to win or rebuilding despite his ability to contribute when healthy – won’t be easy.