The Detroit Pistons won’t have their brand new forward Blake Griffin in the lineup tonight as they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers but coach Stan Van Gundy spent a lot of his time on Tuesday talking about Griffin and mapping out how the All-Star will fit into the offense.
Despite the injury concerns that the Clippers reportedly had regarding Griffin, and the talent Detroit had to part with to get him, Van Gundy believes Griffin is worth the risk.
“The hardest thing to do in this league is to get a proven star,” Van Gundy said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “It’s just very hard to do. It’s hard to do in free agency, it’s hard to do in trades.
“You get very few opportunities to do it. The guy’s a five-time All-Star, he’s been an All-NBA guy. (He’s one of the) top-15 guys in the league. He’s only 28 years old. We know the injury history. That’s the risk on it, but that risk was worth it because of the talent we’re bringing back.”
Griffin, who signed a five-year, $171 million contract last summer, is averaging 22.6 points and 7.9 rebounds this season and will be an instant boost to a struggling Pistons team that is looking for a marquee player to build their team around.
It was reported that Griffin wasn’t happy about being traded to the Pistons, but the forward met with Pistons owner Tom Gores in Los Angeles and Gores is excited for a future with Griffin involved.
“We are serious about winning, and this is a major move to improve our team,” Gores said in a statement. “Blake Griffin is one of the NBA’s elite players, and when you get an opportunity to add that kind of talent, you take it.”