Since the Detroit Pistons surprisingly traded Andre Drummond before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline, rumors have been continuously swirling around All-Star power forward Blake Griffin and his future with the team. After suffering another huge disappointment, the Pistons are expected to explore trading Griffin this fall and undergo a full-scale rebuild. Once he becomes officially available on the trading block, several teams could express interest in adding Griffin to their roster, including the Charlotte Hornets.
In a recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report created a list of trades to get starless teams their new face of the franchise. For the Hornets, Buckley suggested that they could send a package that includes Malik Monk and Nicolas Batum to Detroit in exchange for Griffin.
“The move wouldn’t be without risk. Griffin is owed a massive amount of money ($36.6 million next season, $39.0 million player option for 2021-22) for anyone, let alone a 31-year-old with an injury history so extensive medical students might use it as a study guide. He looked abysmal in his 18 outings this season (15.5 points on 35.2/24.3/77.6 shooting) and may never get his groove back. If he does, though, this deal gets remembered as a grand larceny. Charlotte’s 28th-ranked offense is in dire need of a focal point, and Griffin’s healthy version is a tremendous offensive hub.”
Trading for Griffin would only make sense for the Hornets if they want to accelerate the rebuilding process. Though his arrival won’t make them an instant title contender, adding him to their core could give them a realistic chance of returning to the Eastern Conference Playoffs next year. When healthy, Griffin would give the Hornets a very reliable scoring option, rebounder, playmaker, floor-spacer, and rim protector.
This season, he averaged 15.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists while shooting 35.2 percent from the field, per ESPN. As Buckley noted, having the All-Star power forward on the court means cleaner three-point shots for Devonte Graham and wider attack lanes for Terry Rozier.
Meanwhile, the potential deal should be a no-brainer for the Pistons as it would allow them to hit two birds with one stone. Aside from successfully getting rid of Griffin’s massive contract, the Pistons would also be acquiring a young and promising talent in Monk, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. If he continues to improve his performance on both ends of the floor, Monk could become an essential part of the next title-contending team that the Pistons would try to build in Detroit.