The Brooklyn Nets completed the signing of free agent Blake Griffin on Monday following the former number one NBA draft pick’s exit from the Detroit Pistons.
Griffin, who turns 32 next week, bolsters a Brooklyn side second in the Eastern Conference standings with hopes of challenging for a championship.
The arrival of the 6ft 9in (2.06m), 250lb (113kg) six-time All-Star gives Nets coach Steve Nash another option to complement playmakers James Harden, Kyrie Irving and forward Kevin Durant.
“We’re fortunate to be able to add a player of Blake’s caliber to our roster at this point in the season,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement.
“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 reportedly forfeited $13.3 million in order to secure his early exit from the Pistons last month — a fact that has impressed his new teammates at Brooklyn.
“I’m sure he wants to win,” Harden told the Nets official website.
“If he’s passed up more money to obviously stay in Detroit, he wants to win and he wants to have an opportunity to play meaningful minutes and I’m assuming that’s one of the reasons why he came … He can be a great contribution to this team.”
Griffin has played in 642 games across 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers and Pistons, averaging 21.4 points per game.
This year he has played 20 games for Detroit, averaging 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.