The Detroit Pistons Should Conduct the Blake Griffin-Russell Westbrook Experiment


The Oklahoma City Thunder have $171 million reasons to move Russell Westbrook. Finding a buyer will be a challenge, even though he’s a walking triple-double with unique talent. The New York Knicks could be desperate enough to do it. The Miami Heat have never been afraid to pony up money for high-risk, high-reward players.

Perhaps the most fun destination, within reason, is the Detroit Pistons. The franchise, which arguably should have been tanking the past few years, has instead made a tradition of securing the eighth seed in the East and getting swept before the calendar turns to May. It would be in their best interest to cut bait with Andre Drummond, possibly Blake Griffin too, and scrap the team for parts.

But what if, for whatever reason, the powers that be decided to pursue Westbrook, a 30-year-old who can’t play nice with anyone, but could have a new beginning in the Motor City?

The short answer is that it would be entertaining. In the same way that getting two insects in a jar, shaking them up, and seeing what happens is entertaining. Westbrook loves to get buckets. He loves to pad those stats. Griffin is not afraid to speak his mind and is also a triple-double seeker.

There is one basketball in play at a given time. So what would it look like with not one, but two guys trying to put up a 30-15-10 line each and every single night? It could be glorious: Griffin and Westbrook would arguably be the two most versatile superstars on an NBA roster. The former is coming off one of the best years in of his career. The latter would be looking to prove that he’s not the problem, despite lots of evidence otherwise.

They would each be looking to put their stamp on every aspect of the game. The East will be relatively wide-open this year and this duo is skilled enough to compete with any side — except, perhaps the Milwaukee Bucks.

That’s if it goes well.

If it turns into a spectacular mess, things will get ugly. The Pistons have appeared rudderless, but this failed experiment would put them on an even darker path. The mismatched personalities would be combustible and could result in both being even more unappealing if Detroit was looking to unload.

If nothing else, though, taking a chance like this would make the team relevant. Briefly or otherwise. It’s been a long time since the Pistons enjoyed any type of that. It’s one of those ideas just crazy enough to work or just plain crazy.

As someone with no skin in the game, I’m desperate to see it.