Blake Griffin (302482)
Credit: Bill Moore photo

The Brooklyn Nets continue to add pieces around Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden with hopes of solidifying a championship roster. They officially signed six-time All-Star Blake Griffin on Monday after it was widely reported over the weekend he’d be joining the Easter Conference’s No. 2 seed. The Nets are 24-13 and begin the second half of their season tonight at the Barclays Center versus the 19-17 Boston Celtics, the East’s current No. 4 seed.

Griffin, who turns 32 on Monday, agreed to a buy-out with the Detroit Pistons and became a free-agent on Sunday. He walked away from a guaranteed $53 million from the Pistons—whom he played for since 2018 after being traded by the Los Angeles Clippers—for a buy-out amount purported by some media sources to be a little over $13 million. Griffin is reunited with former Clipper teammate DeAndre Jordan.

Griffin was the NBA’s No. 1 overall pick by the Clippers in 2009 and Jordan was selected in the second round (35th overall) by the Clippers the previous year. “We’re fortunate to be able to add a player of Blake’s caliber to our roster at this point in the season,” said Nets General Manager Sean Marks. “Blake is a versatile frontcourt player with a long track record of success in our league, and we’re excited about the impact he’ll make for us both on and off the court in Brooklyn.”

Griffin’s primary goal is undoubtedly to win the first championship of his long career. He had several options, including the defending NBA league champion Los Angeles Lakers, but chose the Nets. His relationship with Jordan strongly influenced the outcome.

“We go way back,” said Griffin regarding Jordan. “Anybody who you’re that familiar with, it always makes it easier.” Marks’ roster moves this season also helped lure him to the Nets.

“Sean Marks has done a great job there,” Griffin said. “It was a tough decision, and I wanted to be on a team that was contending.” How much Griffin can contribute and what his role will be is yet to be determined. He is no longer the explosive, powerful, five-time All-NBA player he was during his prime years with the Clippers.

In 20 games with the Pistons this season, Griffin averaged 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds, but was shooting just 36.5% from the field and only 31.5% on threes. He struggles on the defensive end to guard mobile big men that can step out and play on the perimeter. The Nets didn’t need more offense. They lead the NBA with an average of 121.1 points per game. Their needs are improved defense and rebounding. Griffin’s signing on the surface doesn’t address those issues