Posts Tagged ‘Detroit Pistons’

Blake Griffin just wants to be wanted.

The five-time All-Star was traded to the Detroit Pistons just seven months after committing to a five-year, $173-million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Though he was initially shocked by the move, Griffin has come to terms with it and said he’s excited to play for a club that appreciates him.

“I want to play for an organization that wants me to play there. And clearly this was an organization that wanted me to play here,” he said at Wednesday’s introductory press conference.

“This is where I want to be. This is a place that wants me, and that’s the type of organization I want to play for.”

Griffin, 28, added he could’ve negotiated to include a no-trade clause in his megadeal last summer, but opted against it because he “wouldn’t want to be stuck in a place that wasn’t working.”

The former No. 1 overall pick spent nine years with the Clippers, averaging 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and a steal over 504 contests. Detroit acquired him, Brice Johnson, and Willie Reed in exchange for Tobias HarrisAvery BradleyBoban Marjanovic, a 2018 protected first-round pick, and a 2019 second-rounder.

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It’s official: Blake Griffin will now call the Motor City home.

The Los Angeles Clippers traded Griffin, Brice Johnson, and Willie Reed to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Tobias HarrisAvery BradleyBoban Marjanovic, a 2018 protected first-round pick, and a 2019 second-round pick, the Clippers announced.

“Blake is one of the best players to ever wear a Clippers jersey. We want to express our gratitude and respect for everything he has done for this team and the City of Los Angeles. This was a very difficult decision, but we ultimately felt it was appropriate for the franchise,” Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said in an official statement.

Griffin was taken first overall by the Clippers in 2009, and ends his tenure ranked second in franchise history in scoring, sixth in games, third in rebounds, and fifth in assists.

The five-time All-Star joins a Pistons squad that’s lost eight in a row and is four games below the .500 mark at 22-26, sitting ninth seed in the Eastern Conference.

“We are serious about winning, and this is a major move to improve our team,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a statement of his own. “Blake Griffin is one of the NBA’s elite players, and when you get an opportunity to add that kind of talent, you take it.”

Griffin is currently working under a new five-year contract worth approximately $173 million. He’s averaging 22.6 points, 7.9 boards, and 5.4 assists through 33 appearances this season.

The Detroit Pistons are interested in trading for exiled Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Any potential Bledsoe trade would likely see the Pistons send back Reggie Jackson along with other assets, Stein notes.

The Suns, however, want a third team to take on Jackson in any potential deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Bledsoe became the latest star to publicly state his dissatisfaction with the Suns and request a trade. In response, he’s been sent home while Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough has ripped him repeatedly through the press.

Flipping Bledsoe for Jackson could help both teams rid themselves of a headache. Jackson went through a painful down year last season and is struggling to recapture his chemistry in the pick-and-roll alongside Pistons center Andre Drummond.

Bledsoe averaged 21.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.3 assists in 66 games before he was shut down for the year, likely in an effort to tank for draft positioning.

The Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, and LA Clippers have also shown interest in Bledsoe.

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Fourteen of the NBA’s 30 franchises lost money last season before receiving revenue-sharing cash from the league, and nine of those teams still ended up in the red after that, according to confidential financial records obtained by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe.

The report appears to confirm suspicions that despite record income from national television contracts, some teams are having trouble turning a profit – and not just in small markets.

The nine franchises to reportedly come out in the red, by the league’s accounting, after revenue sharing are: the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, and Washington Wizards.

The Spurs and Cavaliers may raise eyebrows given their combined runs of success, but it was already widely reported the Cavs lost $40 million during their 2015-16 championship season – due in part to a $54-million luxury tax bill.

At the end of the day, small cities such as Memphis and Milwaukee cannot compare to markets like Los Angeles. However, Brooklyn is part of New York City, and Washington and Atlanta rank as the nation’s seventh- and 10th-largest media markets, respectively.

At least one owner brought up the idea of expansion as a way to increase team income, the report states. An expansion fee – likely over $1 billion per team – would be divvied equally among NBA owners and not subject to the 50-50 basketball-related income split with players under the collective bargaining agreement.

Commissioner Adam Silver is on record as saying expansion is not a priority, although markets such as Seattle may be soon waiting in the wings for a new team. Relocating less profitable franchises is another option, something a handful of richer owners have suggested, according to Windhorst and Lowe.

The chasm between the NBA’s most profitable and weaker franchises will be discussed at the league’s next Board of Governors meeting at the end of September, sources told ESPN.

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The fate of The Palace of Auburn Hills is sealed. The famed arena will close permanently next month after a concert, weeks before their longtime tenant Detroit Pistons move into the new Little Caesar’s Arena in downtown Motor City.

The property is likely to be sold, according to Brian McCollum of the Detroit Free Press. However, the Pistons’ practice facility remains adjacent to the arena and will be needed by the team until a new one is ready closer to downtown Detroit.

The major concern for some in the Detroit area is The Palace trying to avoid a similar fate that befell the nearby Pontiac Silverdome. Since the Detroit Lions left that stadium in 2002, the facility has fallen into dilapidated disrepair and still has not been demolished.

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Without a hint of malice, the Detroit Pistons are officially relocating. Fans need not worry, though; they’re only moving about 30 miles from their former home.

The league announced Thursday the NBA board of governors unanimously approved the Pistons’ move from The Palace of Auburn Hills to their new home, Little Caesars Arena.

The Pistons have called The Palace home since it opened its doors in 1988, winning titles in 1989, 1990, and 2004. As a result of the success of the Pistons and the WNBA’s since-relocated Detroit Shock (1998-2009), the address for the building was officially changed to 6 Championship Way, denoting the number of titles collected by its two main tenants.

Perhaps more famous than any on-court achievement at The Palace was a dark event on Nov. 19, 2004.

Referred to as “The Malice in the Palace,” the Pistons and visiting Indiana Pacers engaged in a massive brawl that poured into the stands, producing multiple assault charges and 146 games’ worth of suspensions.

Pistons legend Ben Wallace received a five-game ban, while Chauncey Billups, Derrick Coleman, and Elden Campbell each received one-game suspensions.

Most notably, the Pacers’ Ron Artest (now Metta World Peace), was suspended for the remaining 73 regular-season games and 13 playoff contests, making it the longest suspension doled out in NBA history.

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DETROIT – The Detroit Pistons have officially announced their move downtown, with owner Tom Gores appearing at a news conference Tuesday with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Ilitch Holdings President and CEO Christopher Ilitch and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

The Pistons plan to start playing at Little Caesars Arena next season, which would put all four of Detroit’s major pro teams within a few blocks of each other. The new arena, which is still under construction, was already being built to house the NHL’s Red Wings, who are owned by Mike and Marian Ilitch.

The Pistons’ move is still subject to approval by the NBA, and formal legal agreements must be finalized. The team has played at The Palace of Auburn Hills, about 30 miles from downtown Detroit, since 1988.