The Brooklyn Nets picked up forward Blake Griffin off waivers Sunday, just ahead of the All-Star Game. Brooklyn has now paired the former Lob City member with center DeAndre Jordan.
The news isn’t entirely surprising. Brooklyn needs depth in its front court and although Griffin is nowhere near his peak, he’s a big body that can score well off of the bench. As far as washed up former All Stars go, Griffin is serviceable.
But man, put this Nets team in 2013 and they could go 74-8. Brooklyn is still a phenomenal team in 2021, but imagine peak Griffin and Jordan playing alongside Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant as they emerged into superstars. They would have the most stacked roster in the league, easily beating the Heats’ Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Just 8 years ago, Jordan was one of the most menacing rim protectors in the league. He was a threat for lobs and was convicted for murdering Brandon Knight.
Griffin was also performing at an incredibly high level. His averages of 24.1 points, 9.7 boards and 1.2 steals per game were among the highest averages of his career. He was one of the most dominant power forwards in the game and made the Los Angeles Clippers a legitimate threat.
But fast forward to today and both players are husks of what they once were. Jordan continues to be a rim protector, but is nowhere amongst the best in the league. His rebounding and scoring are both declining sharply compared to his career averages. He’s a big body, but that’s about it.
Injuries have absolutely decimated Griffin’s career. Just three seasons ago, he was an All Star and led Detroit to an 8 seed. But knee issues and a concussion have completely derailed Griffin and this season, he’s averaging the worst numbers of his career.
While they’re an offensive powerhouse, the Nets desperately need help on defense. Signing Griffin does nothing to aid the defensive side of the ball. Sure it gives Griffin a shot at an NBA Championship but, outside of that, I’m getting Karl Malone and Gary Payton joining the Lakers in 2003 vibes. It’s just a washed player desperately looking for a ring.