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3 Reasons the 76ers Should Poach Blake Griffin From the Celtics

3 reasons why the 76ers should sign Blake Griffin: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
3 reasons why the 76ers should sign Blake Griffin: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The start of NBA training camp is little more than a month away, and Blake Griffin is still a free agent. The six-time All-Star has had a remarkable career, but he’s been reduced to being a role player in recent seasons.

Still, that doesn’t mean he can’t add value to a team. He showed that last year by making a positive impact for the Boston Celtics off the bench, helping them reach the Eastern Conference Finals.

While the Celtics have shown some interest in bringing him back, they aren’t the only team with their eye on the 34-year-old big man. The Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers (Griffin’s old team) and the Sixers have also expressed interest, according to a recent report from Sam Amico.

Griffin may not be a star anymore, but he could still be a solid depth piece for Philly. Here are three reasons why the 76ers should sign Griffin.

3 Reasons 76ers Should Sign Blake Griffin

1. Keep Him Out of Boston

One benefit of Philly signing Griffin is that it would take him away from the Celtics, who are one of our biggest rivals in the East. This was evident once again last year, when the two squads battled through a hard-fought series in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. While we ultimately lost in seven, we tired them out enough that they fell to the eight-seed Miami Heat in the Conference Finals.

Furthermore, Griffin was a fan favorite with Boston and had a positive impact on the locker room with his upbeat attitude. He was a valuable veteran presence and a capable backup for Robert Williams III and Al Horford in the frontcourt.

More importantly, we need to do whatever we can to stop Boston from winning the Eastern Conference for the second time in three years, which they’re currently favored to do.

Griffin’s a small but important piece of the puzzle for the Celtics. If we can screw up their plans and cause them to lose a bit of depth behind Williams, Horford and Kristaps Porzingis, it could benefit us later this season.

2. Our Locker Room Could Use a Boost

As mentioned above, Griffin has a great attitude and was a terrific presence for the Celtics. With more than a decade of NBA experience, he uses it to mentor younger players and act as a de facto assistant coach sometimes.

He’s also graciously accepted a limited role in the second half of his career and doesn’t put his ego above the rest of the team. We could certainly use more guys like that around here (looking at you, James Harden).

Even when he’s not contributing much on the court, Griffin still brings energy and excitement to the building every day, which can be contagious. The NBA season is a long grind, and you need guys in the locker room who can keep things light and loose, especially in an intense environment like Philadelphia.

I know a stats guy like Daryl Morey won’t be able to quantify something like that, but it has real, tangible value.

3. We Need More Size

Looking at our roster, it seems a bit light on size at the moment beyond Joel Embiid and Mo Bamba. It was definitely an issue last year, when we finished 26th out of 30 in total rebounding.

Part of the issue is making sure we have an adequate replacement for Joel Embiid. He’s never played 70 games in a season before, let alone a full season. He’s pretty much guaranteed to miss double-digit games every year, and we need someone who can help cover those minutes.

It’s also worth noting that Griffin has actually gotten better at rebounding in recent years as it’s become a bigger part of his game. Now that he’s less involved offensively, he’s able to spend more time establishing himself down low and cleaning the glass. Last year he averaged 9.8 rebounds per 36 minutes — his most since 2011-12 and the third straight year in which that number increased.

Griffin has other skills, too. He’s turned himself into a pretty decent three-point shooter (33.5% since 2014-15) and passes fairly well. He doesn’t shoot much, but at least he’s efficient when he does go for points.

Overall, Griffin still appears to be an asset at this stage of his career rather than a liability, making him worth a roster spot. He also looks like a good fit for Philadelphia on paper.

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