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Deal of the Day: Would trading for Blake Griffin be worth the price?

The Pistons acquire John Wall, Thomas Bryant and two first round picks in exchange for Griffin, Derrick Rose and Tony Snell.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Deal of the Day, Salary cap rules may be bent but hopefully not broken. We already broke some.

Today’s Deal: What would a Blake Griffin Deal Look Like?

Fatkobe101 requested a Blake Griffin trade. So did CheetoBingo in a previous email, but we wound up doing a different trade target from that submission.

The last time I saw Griffin he was valiantly trying to keep the Pistons from being swept by the Milwaukee Bucks. He — and the Pistons — failed. That was 2019.

Griffin missed the beginning of the 2019-20 season but eventually played in 18 games for Detroit. How did he do? In those 18 games he dunked the ball five (5) times. For perspective, in his career Griffin has 43 games with five or more dunks — including four against the Wizards. Griffin’s career high for dunks in a game was eight, which he did three times, including once against the Wizards.

Here’s a highlight video or maybe just at-the-rim-light video. He’s clearly favoring the left leg. He would call it a season after those 18 games and decide on surgery to relieve “soreness” in the knee.

Griffin is reportedly healthy and working out regularly. I don’t know what regularly means after you have two surgeries on the same knee but it sounds promising. The offseason is undefeated!

Almost forgot, Griffin is owed $75.5 million over the next two seasons — 2021 is a player option that he will surely exercise.

Any interested NBA team is going to want to see him perform before committing assets to acquire him. Sounds like John Wall eh? Truth is we don’t know what sustained play will look like for either of them. It’s a marathon, not a workout hype video.

All we know is what it looked like with Griffin hobbling through the playoffs and dragging his leg the following season. I worry about the next phase of a re-injury cycle. First it’s the joint (knee) then it’s the support system, say the hamstring or the calf. Perpetual rehab.

Oh yeah, he turns 32 in March. Bullets Forever writer Kevin Broom calls this the “expensive decline” portion of his career.

So why even entertain the idea? Because it’s what The Deal does every day, we transact. #DealNation

Washington trades John Wall, Thomas Bryant, Jerome Robinson, the #9 overall pick in 2020 and their 2023 first round pick to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, and Tony Snell.

Why would the Pistons make this deal?

That question seems different somehow. The Pistons don’t have any incentive to acquire Wall and his salary at this point. Griffin’s name is in the trade winds because they want to rid themselves of the money they owe him. Why would they want to take on Wall sight unseen?

I guess it’s possible Wall shows enough by the trade deadline that it’s no longer impossible. The higher likelihood is that the Pistons find a taker for Griffin who can give more back. In the case of salary coming back, less is more.

We could talk ourselves into the notion that Dwayne Casey is old school enough to love Wall’s game. That could be a thing. He vanquished the Raptors under Casey. That isn’t quickly forgotten but maybe it still holds some weight this many years later.

Why would the Wizards make the deal?

To be fair I don’t think Washington does this either. There’s more invested in Wall than just his contract. It’s a damn decade. If he is playable and productive they won’t want to move him in part because it will cost this much to get a team to listen.

What could motivate the Wizards to look at trading him? The biggest reason would be if the re-team with Bradley Beal doesn’t go well. Just losing probably isn’t enough, though. It would probably take something like Wall souring on playing sidekick to Beal. That could be quite the hypothetical fracas.

Still, the reason why this is entertained on the DC side is Wall’s final year salary — $47 million in the year AFTER Griffin’s contract expires.

Griffin and Rose are the only Pistons over 30. It’s more likely Rose goes to a third team that has more to send back to Detroit. In this scenario Detroit throws in the geezer combo pack. They also include Tony Snell to make it a clean sweep of their eight-figure salary guys and save the most this year. I like Snell. He’s 6-6 and shot 40% from three. I wish he didn’t make $12 million like Snell but here we are.

Both Rose and Snell have one season remaining on their contracts.

Structurally it doesn’t make much sense either. The Wizards are invested in Rui Hachimura. They’re about to invest in Davis Bertans. Why add another power forward, even one as talented as Griffin was?

At least Washington would be getting former All-Stars back. That’s the selling point to Beal. A name like Griffin landing in DC is big news. My concern is that his time with the Wizards would mostly involve him dragging his leg or cheering in a suit. If that happens they aren’t a playoff team and poof, everyone is available. That includes front office leadership who bet Beal’s remaining contract years on Griffin’s twice repaired left knee.

Wizards would still have the #37 pick, MLE and the BAE:

  • Derrick Rose - Ish Smith
  • Bradley Beal - Troy Brown Jr. - Garrison Mathews (RFA)
  • Isaac Bonga - Tony Snell - Admiral Schofield
  • Rui Hachimura - Blake Griffin - Davis Bertans (UFA) -
  • ______________ - Moritz Wagner - Anzejs Pasecniks (camp guarantee)

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Want to request a trade target or send a challenge? Email me at Jheiser3 at and include your Bullets Forever screen name.