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.”
Pistons Interested in 76ers’ Markelle Fultz
Detroit is reportedly eyeing a young point guard in preparation for the potential departure of Reggie Jackson via free agency following next season.
The report pointed out that in order to take on Fultz, the Pistons would have to move money around to avoid the luxury tax.
Pistons’ Ish Smith Out with Adductor Tear
After around 2 weeks, Smith will be re-evaluated, the team announced.
Smith has posted 9.2 ppg and 3.0 apg for Detroit this season.
Pistons’ Reggie Jackson Says Teams Takes Andre Drummond for Granted
Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson is heaping praise on his teammate, big man Andre Drummond, who he feels that the team often times takes for granted.
“I’d be lying if I said we didn’t [take Drummond for granted],” Jackson said, according to Vince Ellis of Detroit Free Press. “I think a lot of times we rely on him heavily for rebounds. On some nights when we get outrebounded, we’re solely looking for him to do it and not necessarily always helping him.”
“When you get a guy who over the last few years get around 14, 15 (rebounds per game), unfortunately it’s hard not to take him for granted, but we definitely appreciate him being the best (rebounder).”
Drummond is having a solid season, posting 18.9 points, 16.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
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