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James Harden happy to have Blake Griffin as a Nets teammate

Blake Griffin looks at the scoreboard in the

Blake Griffin looks at the scoreboard in the first half during an NBA basketball game on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Salt Lake City. Credit: AP/Rick Bowmer

Former All-Star forward Blake Griffin cleared waivers on Sunday after his recent buyout with the Pistons, and through a source, Newsday confirmed multiple media reports that said he has reached an agreement to sign as a free agent with the Nets.

Griffin gave back $13 million to the Pistons. ESPN reported he agreed to accept the veteran’s minimum to rejoin former Clippers teammate DeAndre Jordan, not to mention the Big 3 of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden.

During an afternoon media session Sunday at the All-Star Game, Harden was asked how difficult it might be for the Nets to blend another star into the mix during the second half of the season.

"We all know how exciting Blake Griffin is and the player that he is," Harden said.

He declined to comment in the afternoon on a deal that was not complete, but after the All-Star Game, upon being informed that Griffin to the Nets was a done deal, Harden relented.

"I’m sure he wants to win," he said. "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. I’m assuming that’s one of the reasons why he came.

"Obviously, we know the athletic and high-jumping Blake, but as of these last couple years, he’s knocking down the three-ball a little bit better, the ballhandling is a lot better. He can be a great contribution to this team . . . We are excited to have him on this Brooklyn Nets team."

Griffin was an all-NBA player in 2018-19, but his play has declined significantly this season. He is averaging 12.2 points and has not shot well: 36.5% from the field and 31.5% from three-point range.

Known in the past for his athleticism and wide array of powerful dunks, Griffin has not dunked this season. Still, his ability to fill a role off the bench at power forward or as a small-ball center certainly would benefit the Nets.

New York Sports