The NBA trend of benching former All-Star players while seeking to trade them continues.
Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons have agreed that he will not be in the lineup while the team and the six-time All-Star forward’s agents “work through a resolution on his playing future,” according to ESPN.
The Cleveland Cavaliers similarly agreed with All-Star center Andre Drummond that he will not play while the organization seeks to trade him.
“After extensive conversation with Blake’s representatives, it has been determined that we will begin working to facilitate a resolution regarding his future with the team that maximizes the interests of both parties,” Pistons GM Troy Weaver told ESPN. “We respect all the effort Blake has put forth in Detroit and his career and will work to achieve a positive outcome for all involved.”
The 32-year-old Griffin is averaging a career-low 12.3 points per game over 20 appearances this season. He is owed the remainder of his $36.6 million salary for this season, plus nearly $39 million for 2021-22, although the Pistons also could negotiate a buyout with Griffin’s agents if they are unable to strike a trade deal before the March 25 deadline.
“I am grateful to the Pistons for understanding what I want to accomplish in my career and for working together on the best path forward,” Griffin told ESPN in a statement.
Griffin was dealt by the Los Angeles Clippers to Detroit in 2018, during the first season of a five-year extension worth $171 million.