The Detroit Pistons are starting to fade from the Eastern Conference playoff race, season-ending knee surgery is reportedly on the table for Blake Griffin.
Blake Griffin has only played 18 games this season due to an ongoing left knee issue that dates back to late last season and required offseason surgery. Now, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo!, Griffin will visit a specialist in Los Angeles this week and season-ending surgery is being considered.
The Pistons are only 3.5 games out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference right now, but they are 13-24 with eight losses in their last 10 games. Trade rumors have surfaced surrounding center Andre Drummond, who is slated to become a free agent after the season, and after making the playoffs last year a shift to rebuild mode as a trade deadline seller seems to be coming.
When he has been on the floor this season, even based on the standard of last year being the best of his career, Griffin has been a shell of himself. He’s averaging just 15.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game while shooting a dismal 35.2 percent from the floor and 24.3 percent from 3-point range. The driving force for the Pistons’ success last year is hobbled, and the results have shown with injuries to Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard also a factor.
The Pistons, of course, gave up a lot to get Griffin from the Clippers a couple of years ago. They’re also on the hook for the two years and over $75 million left on his contract after this year, though it’s worth noting 2021-22 is a player option. Besides his health concerns, Griffin also has a patently untradeable contract.
Whether they’re in reset or rebuild mode over the next couple years, or stand pat pretty much as currently constructed (with Drummond as a notable subtraction if he leaves), Griffin is going to be in a Pistons’ uniform barring something unforeseen. Even if surgery to end his 2019-20 campaign does not happen, any trade interest from other teams that might have existed in the near-term is surely gone.