Blake Griffin had a lot of suitors after the Pistons bought him out: the Lakers, Heat, Bucks, Nets, and plenty of other contenders and playoff teams lined up for his services.
Why? Griffin answered that in an AMA at Bleacher Report.
“They have a need for a four-man. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Steve Nash and all of the guys they have. Sean Marks has done a great job there. It was a tough decision and I wanted to be on a team that was contending.”
To be clear, the Nets have a need for depth at the four — they start Kevin Durant there. He’s the walking definition of elite. However, Griffin will get some run off the bench behind Durant as well as some time as a small-ball five (the Nets have had success with Jeff Green in that role but will experiment).
The other reason Griffin chose Brooklyn?
“My only goal is to help win a championship. Some years it’s more realistic than others. But that’s why I came to Brooklyn.”
The Nets are legit contenders and Griffin fills a role, but how much he can help them in the playoffs remains to be seen. Griffin is averaging 12.3 points a game but shooting 36.5% overall and 31.5% from three this season — that athleticism that was the hallmark of his game has faded with time and a rash of injuries. The lift is not there on his jumper anymore, and he’s not mobile (and a target) on defense.
Griffin is a high-IQ player who understands where to be and is a smart passer — he can help the offense that way. The question is will he hit the open jumpers that James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Durant will create. He has struggled with that this season, but if Griffin can find his jumper in Brooklyn, he will play a quality role for them going forward.