The Boston Celtics are in the process of filling out their roster ahead of next season. They’ve already added forward Danilo Gallinari and combo guard Malcolm Brogdon to the mix, but since they traded away five players for Brogdon, they still need to add more pieces.
Boston is relatively set at the guard position, but they could use some depth everywhere else on the roster. Most notably, they need to add a backup big man. Luke Kornet was just signed to a two-year deal, but signing a veteran center who can play serious minutes behind Robert Williams will be crucial.
As they scour the market in an attempt to find that player, superstar forward Jayson Tatum made a subtle suggestion on Twitter. Former NBA player Harry Giles tweeted out, “Never Hate just wait on your turn.” Tatum quickly quote-Tweeted the message, writing, “SIGN HIM.”
While Tatum didn’t directly name the Celtics as a team that should sign Giles, the pair’s history together caused all of NBA Twitter to connect the dots.
Tatum and Giles were teammates together at Duke University during the 2016-17 season. Both players spent one year with the Blue Devils and were subsequently selected in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft. Tatum was selected third by the Celtics, while Giles went 20th to the Portland Trail Blazers (but was traded to the Sacramento Kings).
Due to their clear friendship, Giles has been connected to the Celtics in the past. And if his previous thoughts on Giles are any indicator, Tatum is a huge believer in the big man.
Tatum Thought Giles Was Better Than Him
Back in 2018, Tatum made an appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast. He spoke about Giles, and more specifically, how he viewed him in high school. According to Tatum, Giles was the only player who he truly believed was better than he was.
“Harry was the only player I would’ve said in high school, ‘Yeah, he might be better than me.’ Our senior year he didn’t play one game, and he was still ranked No. 1,” Tatum stated.
Obviously, a lot has changed since then, as Tatum would go on to have a more successful career at Duke. He played 33.3 minutes per game, averaging 16.8 points, while Giles would only average 11.5 minutes, putting up 3.9 points per contest.
Tatum has also had a more successful NBA career thus far. He’s coming off of an All-NBA First Team season. Meanwhile, Giles wasn’t even on an NBA roster this past season. He last appeared in the NBA in the 2020-21 season when he played in 38 games with the Trail Blazers. The big man averaged 2.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per game.
While Giles has struggled to find success, he does fit the mold of what the Celtics are looking for.
Celtics Searching for Cheap Backup Center
As Boston continues to fill out their roster, an extra center to play behind Williams and Horford is on the list. And as Justin Quinn of USA Today pointed out, that big man will likely have to be on a minimum contract.
“Boston will need to keep looking for a backup big man. It is reportedly looking for someone on a veteran minimum deal, however,” Quinn wrote. “The Celtics will likely want to play said option a considerable amount in at least the regular season to preserve the health of bigs Robert Williams III and Al Horford for the postseason.”
So, while Tatum would love to see his former teammate join the Celtics, Boston is probably searching for a more experienced center that would be able to play a good chunk of minutes during the regular season. Seeing as Giles has struggled to earn any rotational minutes in the NBA, him joining the team in that role seems unlikely.