The Toronto Raptors will likely look to the buyout market in order to find some studs that could help contribute to their playoff push, and former Detroit Pistons star Blake Griffin could’ve helped in that pursuit, albeit in a very rigidly defined role.
Griffin, who hasn’t dunked this year, is averaging 12.3 points per game this season on just 36% shooting from the floor and 31% from 3-point range. While his splits on a bad Pistons team are awful, the former Los Angeles Clippers star can still provide enough quality scoring to help a contender in need of some punch off of the bench.
What does this mean for the Raptors? Not only did they miss out on arguably the top buyout candidate in this cycle, but they had to watch him go and play for a hated rival and conference favorite.
Would Blake Griffin have fit with the Raptors?
Griffin would’ve, at the very least, helped the Raptors solve their two biggest issues. The lack of interior scoring when Aron Baynes is in the game and the horrid performance on the glass overall has killed the Raptors this season, and Griffin choosing to come to Tampa for the remainder of the season could’ve helped fix that problem.
The issues with signing Griffin come based on the fact that he is in decline as an offensive player, as his skills right now are relegated to just spot-up shooting. That wouldn’t do much to move the needle on offense for the Raptors. In fact, signing Griffin might have impeded the development of Chris Boucher.
The problem is that he signed with Brooklyn. Not only is the Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden tag team as lethal as ever, but role players like Joe Harris, Bruce Brown, and Nic Claxton are all starting to emerge. Adding another good scorer in Griffin into the mix is a recipe for something potentially special.
Brooklyn is playing a dangerous game with Griffin, as adding another poor defender to a team that already plays no defense could blow up in their face. However, a player as good as Griffin being Brooklyn’s fifth or sixth best offensive option has to scare the rest of the league.