Detroit Pistons agree to contract buyout with Blake Griffin
LOS ANGELES – Former number one NBA draft pick Blake Griffin has reached a buyout deal with the Detroit Pistons and will become an unrestricted free agent, the team announced on Friday.
The last place Pistons tried unsuccessfully to trade the six-time All-Star forward, who hasn’t played since February 12.
Griffin will turn 32 later this month and the rebuilding Pistons want give more playing time to the younger players in their organization. Griffin is owed $36.6 million on his contract for the remainder of this season.
“Blake has been a great representative for our franchise and for the city of Detroit,” owner Tom Gores said. “His work ethic and his approach to the game contributed a lot to our culture. He has been a consummate pro and we wish him continued success.
“I’m grateful for everything he did for our team and for our community.”
Griffin has averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 31.3 minutes in 20 starts this season.
A number of teams are reported to be interested in signing Griffin including the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers.
Detroit heads into the all-star break with a 10-26 record and is in last place in the Eastern Conference.
Griffin was the No. 1 pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2009 entry draft. He has averaged 21.4 points and 8.7 rebounds in 642 career games with Los Angeles and Detroit.