Blake Griffin became the first big name to be moved during the 2018 NBA trade period. Griffin was sent from his long-time team, the Los Angeles Clippers, to the Detroit Pistons in a six player trade. The trade saw the Pistons send starters Avery Bradley and Tobias Harris out west, along with back-up center Boban Marjanovic and a couple draft picks. The initial reaction to the trade was that the Pistons gave up possibly too much for the former Clippers star and a couple of role players. While it does seem like the Clippers got the better end of the deal at first glance, the Pistons got exactly what they needed in Griffin.

The franchise player

Anyone familiar with the NBA will tell you that teams don't have a chance to make any serious noise unless they have a franchise player. Teams need someone who has the potential to single-handedly win a game on any given night. That is where Griffin comes in for Detroit. The Pistons now have a proven star who can drop 40 points and 15 rebounds without warning. Griffin comes into Detroit as a five-time all-star and All-NBA talent. His resume as a dominant player speaks for itself, and with five years left on his contract, he can be the centerpiece for the team for years to come.

In fact, Griffin didn't take long to show that he has what it takes to lead the Pistons to victory.

He and Detroit defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 104-102 in his debut, with Griffin finishing the game with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.

Generating the buzz the team needed

The glory days of the early 2000's Detroit Pistons seem like a distant memory for fans of the team today. For the past decade the team have been not much more than a fringe playoff team that has been stuck in a state of mediocrity.

The Pistons have consistently posted some of the lowest average attendances over the last few seasons, averaging a little under 17,000 fans per game during that stretch.

Since the arrival of Griffin, the Pistons have averaged over 18,000 fans in each of the two home games he has played in. Stores in Detroit have also reported that Griffin jerseys have been flying off the shelves.

Griffin is giving the fans of Detroit, as well as the team, a much needed boost in terms of buzz around the city and the league.

The future

Fans of Detroit better hope Griffin lives up to the hype, because he is locked into a 5-year $175 million deal that has the franchise putting all of its eggs in the Griffin basket. While it's too early to tell if Griffin will be worth all of that money over the next five seasons, it's evident that he is already having a clear and positive impact on the franchise and the city.