Miami Heat: Blake Griffin would be the perfect free agency addition

Feb 1, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 1, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Blake Griffin has once again been linked to the Miami Heat, and he would be the perfect signing to help form an antithesis to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Two weeks ago, Jared Dudley said on an ESPN podcast that Blake Griffin could join the Miami Heat this summer, in a move he described as a “Plan B.” Dudley’s words cannot be taken as being that meaningful in the grand scheme of things, but exploring the possibility of Griffin moving to Miami, is very exciting.

Griffin’s past seasons have been disrupted by injuries, but he is one of the best players in the NBA, and a player who could have his full potential realized under Erik Spoelstra. He has stagnated in Doc Rivers’ offense in Los Angeles, which has failed to evolve and maximize his versatile skill-set.

Miami is a team that will always be building toward a championship while Pat Riley is involved, and he must be looking at Griffin as a player who could potentially be a part of the Heat’s next championship run. He is underrated in the grand scheme of things, and he deserves to play for a team who would be able to maximize his talent.

One of the major reasons Griffin is so enticing from a tactical point of view, is that he is a dominant force inside, and could form a terrifying interior duo with Hassan Whiteside. All roads in the Eastern Conference go through Cleveland, and the way to beat this Cavaliers team is to beat them up inside, as their team defense is terrible.

More from Miami Heat

This may not be the case next year, but it is clear that teams who have tried to play a perimeter game in the East against Cleveland have failed.

If Miami is serious about getting close to Cleveland with this current core, then adding a frontcourt player would be the best move, as this would essentially help create the antithesis for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Another reason Griffin is a good fit in Miami is because he actually provides a foil for Hassan Whiteside. Offensively, Whiteside is at his best as a roll man, as he is in the 83rd percentile as a roll man, which is the best on the Heat roster by a distance. Griffin, in comparison, struggled as a roll man in Los Angeles, as he ranked in the 44th percentile last season.

Part of the reason for this was that DeAndre Jordan does not space the floor, which limits the space Griffin was working with in pick-and-roll situations. Regardless, this is not Griffin’s strength, and this would be acceptable in Miami as they already have an excellent roll man.

Griffin’s strength is as an individual scorer, and this is really where he would provide a huge upgrade for the Heat. Miami played a lot of small-ball last year, but really struggled for shot creation when Goran Dragic or Dion Waiters went to the bench. With Waiters and James Johnson being free agents, the Heat need another focal point on offense who can create his own shot.

Griffin is a good post-up player, ranking in the 65th percentile despite often being surrounded by the likes of Luc Mbah a Moute and DeAndre Jordan, neither of which has a jump shot.

Live Feed

If not Blake Griffin, who should the Boston Celtics sign?
If not Blake Griffin, who should the Boston Celtics sign? /

Hardwood Houdini

  • Analyst wants Boston Celtics rival to sign C's six-time All-Star free agentHardwood Houdini
  • 3 Reasons the 76ers Should Poach Blake Griffin From the CelticsSection 215
  • Ranking 3 best remaining free agent centers Blazers should targetRip City Project
  • Golden State Warriors reported to have interest in six-time All-StarBlue Man Hoop
  • Blake Griffin Angling Hard to Re-Sign With CelticsChowder and Champions
  • This limited the space he had to work with, but he still fared well, and he also ranked in the 66th percentile as an isolation scorer. Whiteside, in comparison, is someone who cannot create for himself, as he ranks in the 33rd percentile as a post-up player, and in the 43rd percentile as an isolation scorer.

    An interior duo of Hassan Whiteside and Blake Griffin would probably the best frontcourt pairing in the NBA outside of New Orleans, and such an approach is the perfect way to attack many of the small spread offenses that are popping up around the league.

    Whiteside and Griffin can co-exist because they have vastly different skill-sets, but they are both dynamic players who could wreak havoc on interior defenses. They also both have reliable jump shots, which would mean that spacing is not fully compromised with this pairing. It also wouldn’t be too surprising to see Griffin expand his range out to the three point-line, as Miami is very good at getting players to improve their jump shots.

    Griffin gets underrated because frankly, he has been stuck in a predictable and one-dimensional system in Los Angeles, and he needs to join a team that would allow him to showcase his dynamism and versatility. He is not limited to being a post-up player and an isolation scorer, but his major strength is that he can create his own looks from the post, which is something that can space opposition defenses internally.

    Gordon Hayward is the other big-name free agent who is being linked to the Miami Heat, and while he is a good player, Blake Griffin would give the Heat a better chance of making a deep postseason run, as he could cause a lot of problems against small lineups, which are the type of lineups that teams at the top end of the Eastern Conference employ. He could also help expose bad team defense due to his versatility, and he is the best option for Pat Riley this summer.

    Next: 5 potential landing spots for Blake Griffin in free agency

    The major question mark surrounding Griffin is over his health, but Riley has shown in previous years that he likes to make “home-run” style signings, and Griffin could most certainly turn out to be a home-run type of player for the Miami Heat.