Six-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin has agreed to a deal to join the Brooklyn Nets for the rest of the season, his agent, Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports, told ESPN on Sunday night.
The Nets are using one of their veteran-minimum-contract slots to sign Griffin, sources said.
Griffin informed Nets general manager Sean Marks of his decision to join Brooklyn’s championship chase on Sunday evening, a reunion of sorts with his former Los Angeles Clippers teammate DeAndre Jordan.
Griffin had interest from most of the NBA’s top playoff contenders and cleared waivers on Sunday night after agreeing to a buyout on the remaining $56.5 million left on his contract with the Detroit Pistons on Friday.
The Nets imagine Griffin, 31, as a small-ball center alternative off its bench.
Brooklyn has solidified itself as a championship contender with the addition of James Harden to a roster that includes Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Because Brooklyn will be in the luxury tax next season, the most they could offer Griffin as a free agent is the $5.9 million taxpayer mid-level exception, according to reporting by ESPN’s Bobby Marks. However, Griffin will earn $29.8 million from Detroit next year and has $255 million in career earnings.
Detroit has entered a full-fledged rebuild under the first-year general manager Troy Weaver and the opportunity to play the franchise’s younger players has taken precedent for the Pistons.
Griffin was traded less than a season into a five-year, $171 million max deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, arriving in Detroit in late-January 2018.
Injuries have dramatically altered Griffin’s game, eliminating the high-flying rim attacks that marked his All-Star career. He now leans heavily on the 3-point shot and his ability to make plays for others.
Griffin averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 20 games for Detroit this season.