Report: Blake Griffin expected to sign with Nets

Pistons forward Blake Griffin and Nets star James Harden
Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Blake Griffin sweepstakes just opened.

They might already be closed.

Griffin – who got bought out by the Pistons – is expected to sign with the Nets.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan and soon Griffin – Brooklyn could play a full lineup of 2015 All-NBA/All-Star players.

But unlike the Nets’ top trio, Griffin is no longer in his prime.

He’ll turn 32 this month and has suffered major athletic declines. Though his decreased dunking has gained the most attention, Griffin has even lost lift on his jumper since his successful period in Detroit. He won’t provide the defense Brooklyn needs, and his offensive contributions will depend on his ability to make the open shots he’ll surely get with Durant, Harden and Irving.

Still, Brooklyn could use more frontcourt depth. Jeff Green is a good small-ball option. DeAndre Jordan provides size. Nicolas Claxton has some versatility, though is fairly raw. Griffin will provide another dimension. His passing could add even more juice to the Nets’ offense.

Brooklyn has a $5,727,024 disabled-player exception (Spencer Dinwiddie). The Nets also have their slightly smaller taxpayer mid-level exception. Only the disabled-player exception can be used to trade for someone. So, it’d be ideal for Brooklyn if Griffin took the taxpayer mid-level exception (or, of course, the minimum).

But the Nets can pay Griffin up to $5,727,024 through the disabled-player exception.

Griffin picking a team that could offer so much indicates he surrendered more money in his buyout, which would be better for Detroit. The remaining guaranteed portion of Griffin’s current contract will count against the Pistons’ books.