Could signing Blake Griffin help the Portland Trail Blazers?

Portland Trail Blazers Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Portland Trail Blazers Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

Blake Griffin has agreed to a buyout with the Detroit Pistons, making him a free agent. One of the teams he has been potentially linked with as a potential landing spot is the Portland Trail Blazers per Dan Favale of Bleacher Report. The Blazers have once again had an injury-plagued season, so they could be looking for another veteran to bail them out.

Last season, they made a hail Mary play when they signed Carmelo Anthony due to injury decimating their ranks. He had been out of the league since he was cut by the Houston Rockets and had a point to prove. Together, Anthony and the rest of the Blazers made it to the eighth seed in one of the most difficult seasons the NBA has seen.

The Blazers have lost Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum to medium-term injuries this season and are still awaiting the return of Zach Collins from offseason surgery. The big man stocks of the Blazers are depleted, especially those who can space the floor.

The Portland Trail Blazers have had yet another injury-riddled season. Could they sign Blake Griffin to help them contend for the title?

The Blazers have some good floor spacers. Damian Lillard can shoot from anywhere past the timeline, and Gary Trent Jr. is stepping into the void left by McCollum’s injury. Nassir Little and Anthony are also doing their part but they need another big man who can shoot.

Enes Kanter has been huge since stepping into the starting role and is averaging a double-double so far this season. The problem is that he is a throwback post player whose offensive rebounding ability is up there with the best in the NBA, though his shooting range is limited.

Harry Giles is also a post player who does not take many perimeter shots. There is a sameness to the gameplan with either big man on the court and teams can use one defensive strategy on both of these players all game.

However, if the Blazers had the likes of Griffin in their lineup, teams would have to employ a totally different strategy when defending him. His ability to play inside and outside is what made him so difficult to guard before the knee injuries had such an impact on his career.

This brings us to the drawbacks of signing Griffin. His defense has fallen off a cliff. He no longer has the ability to move laterally on the defensive end in response to the offensive player’s movement. He may as well be a lamp post when defending in transition.

The Blazers have been utilizing Robert Covington and Derrick Jones Jr. as defensive stoppers so they may be able to cover some of Griffin’s deficiencies at that end. This would most probably mean that the career power forward would spend more time as a stretch five.

However, this could then have a greater impact on his body. Griffin is in this position due to multiple knee injuries which have cut two seasons to 35 games or less. He has also only played 67 games or less three times.

Signing a player as injury-prone as Griffi would be a risk for a team that doesn’t need any more players sidelined. However, with his offensive abilities, Griffin could help the Portland Trail Blazers outshoot their opponents.

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