Does a Blake Griffin reunion make sense for 2023-24 Celtics? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Celtics are likely past the point of adding impact players this offseason. But they still have a pair of open roster spots — and apparently are considering using one to bring back an old friend.
The Celtics “have interest” in signing 34-year-old forward Blake Griffin in free agency, Substack’s Marc Stein reported Monday. Our Chris Forsberg also noted Griffin’s availability in a column last week while highlighting Griffin’s “strong bonds with Boston’s younger players.”
Griffin didn’t contribute much on the court last season after signing a one-year, veteran minimum deal with the Celtics. He played in just 41 of Boston’s 82 games, averaging 4.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists over 13.9 minutes per contest. As Forsberg noted, however, Griffin was a valuable veteran presence in the Celtics’ locker room, setting a positive example for Boston’s relatively young core while forming close relationships with the team’s bench players, aka the “Bus 1 Boys”.
“It’s been unique to see just his attitude every day,” Celtics star Jayson Tatum said of Griffin in March. ” … His energy, his enthusiasm, his personality. We’re all very fortunate to have him as a teammate because everybody respects him and respects what he’s accomplished. And his voice carries.”
The Celtics lost a pair of strong locker room voices this offseason in guard Marcus Smart and forward Grant Williams. While Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the team’s unquestioned leaders and Al Horford can provide a veteran’s perspective, Joe Mazzulla’s club would benefit from another “chemistry signing” like Griffin, who is already familiar with this team’s core.
Griffin didn’t join the Celtics until Sept. 30 last year, so don’t expect a signing soon. He’ll likely wait until closer to NBA training camps to weigh all of his options. Considering where Boston’s roster stands, however — the team has interest in adding wing and forward depth and reportedly offered a contract to Svi Mykhailiuk — president of basketball operations Brad Stevens absolutely should have Griffin on his radar as a potential low-cost pickup who can make a legitimate impact from the end of the bench.