By: Will Burchfield
Mired in an eight-game losing streak and trying to save their season, the Pistons on Monday traded for five-time All-Star Blake Griffin.
In exchange, the Pistons sent Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, a 2018 first-round draft pick and a 2019 second-round draft pick to the Clippers.
Detroit also received center Willie Reed and forward Brice Johnson. The trade was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski.
Consider Griffin surprised.
The 28-year-old Griffin has played in 33 games this season, averaging 22.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists. The high-flying forward will be an exciting addition to the Pistons alongside Andre Drummond.
Griffin is signed through the 2020-21 season at a cost of about $34 million per year. His Pistons debut will come Tuesday night at home versus the Cavs.
Entering play Monday night, Detroit is three games out of a playoff spot.
Per Wojnarowksi, the Pistons’ first-round pick is protected if it falls in the top four in 2018, 2019 and 2020. After that, it’s unprotected.
Detroit has struggled mightily in the absence of point guard Reggie Jackson, who’s been sidelined since late December with a sprained ankle. When he returns, he’ll slide into a starting lineup that’s likely to feature Drummond at center, Griffin at power forward, Stanley Johnson at small forward and Luke Kennard at shooting guard.
Between Griffin and Drummond, the Pistons will be on the hook for $53.3 million next season, or about half of the $108 million salary cap.
Bradley’s time as a Piston lasted less than seven months. The team traded for him last summer with the hopes of signing him to a long-term extension, but nothing ever materialized. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Reed, 27, is averaging 4.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 39 games this season. Johnson, the Clippers’ first-round pick (No. 25 overall) in 2016, has played mostly in the G League the past two years.
The Clippers visit Detroit next Friday.