NBA Rumors: How Celtics Likely Will Make Roster Room For Blake Griffin

Boston must let someone go to officially add Griffin

by

September 30

The Celtics will need to make a corresponding move to officially add Blake Griffin, who reportedly agreed to a one-year contract Friday, as Boston currently has the maximum 20 players in training camp.

So, what’s the play?

Well, MassLive’s Brian Robb reported Friday, citing a league source, that Boston likely will release a player on a non-guaranteed deal to make room for the veteran forward.

Robb speculated Brodric Thomas or Denzel Valentine could be the “chief candidates,” with the Celtics already having a loaded backcourt, but Jake Layman, Noah Vonleh, Justin Jackson and Luka Samanic are among the other options.

Griffin is coming off a lackluster 2021-22 season with the Nets, his second in Brooklyn, and obviously isn’t the same player who garnered six All-Star selections in his prime. He’s lost a fair amount of explosiveness and isn’t the greatest defender at this stage of his career. The 33-year-old also shot just 26.2% from 3-point range last season while averaging 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 17.1 minutes per game.

But the Celtics developed an obvious need for frontcourt depth after Danilo Gallinari suffered an ACL injury last month. And that hole only grew larger with the recent announcement that center Robert Williams III would be sidelined for eight to 12 weeks while recovering from knee surgery.

Griffin, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, should help in that regard, while adding another veteran presence to a locker room that’s dealing with the loss of head coach Ime Udoka, who was suspended for the entire 2022-23 season for violating team policies.

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