Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin will soon be acclimating to a new role within the team as it looks to trend towards a new direction. The Motor City squad has done a bevy of reshuffling over the past few years which eventually made Griffin the longest-tenured member of the team heading to the 2020-2021 NBA season.
He acknowledges his responsibility to be a leader and mentor especially for the younger players who are going to be contributors to the rebuilding cause of the team.
“As far as coming back and playing, my agenda isn’t to come out and score as many points and shoot as many baskets as possible,” Griffin said via Detroit Free Press. “It’s never that. It’s to be a complete player, be a leader, when you’re asked to score, score, when you’re asked to do something else, you do that. I don’t think those are two conflicting ideas. You can still be a mentor, you can still develop the young guys.”
The latest influx of rookies will come in the form of forward Saddiq Bey from the Villanova Wildcats, big man Isaiah Stewart from the Washington Huskies, point guard Saben Lee from the Vanderbilt Commodores, and swingman Killian Hayes from Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany.
Apart from the younger players, the Pistons will still have Derrick Rose, sophomore forward Sekou Doumbouya, and a collection of newcomers in Mason Plumlee, Josh Jackson, and Jahlil Okafor.
Last season, the five-time All-Star only played in 18 games and was limited to averages of 15.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists through 28.4 minutes of action. His campaign was abruptly cut short due to a second surgery on his knee done midway through the 2019-2020 season.
Heading into his 12th year in the league at 31 years old, Griffin will remain to be an integral piece for the team in leading his younger teammates as a seasoned veteran moving forward.