Celtics Reunion With 6-Time All-Star ‘Appears Unlikely’: Report

Brad Stevens

Getty Brad Stevens

It appears a reunion between the Boston Celtics and Blake Griffin may not be in the cards after all. The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reported that while the Celtics are interested in bringing him back, the interest between the two sides is not mutual for the time being.

“The Celtics would likely welcome a return by veteran big man Blake Griffin, who played well last year and was a strong locker room presence, but for now, that appears unlikely as Griffin considers his future,” Himmelsbach wrote in a September 5 story.

After the Celtics signed Svi Mykhailiuk, they have one full-time roster spot left. However, per Spotrac’s Keith Smith, Mykhailiuk has been signed to a partially guaranteed contract.

Both Mykhailiuk and Dalano Banton have been signed to partially guaranteed contracts this offseason, and Luke Kornet’s contract for the 2023-24 season will be nonguaranteed until January 10. This could have major implications for the Celtics roster and Griffin’s place on the team as the season progresses.

While Himmelsbach wrote that a reunion between Griffin and the Celtics wasn’t likely, it doesn’t sound like the book is necessarily closed but rather that it’s not an option for the time being. It’s possible Griffin may be open to joining the team by midseason. If the Celtics fill in that last roster spot at the start of the season, trading or waiving Mykhailiuk, Kornet, and/or Banton during the season could pave the way for Griffin to return.

Brad Stevens Praised Blake Griffin’s Performance

During his appearance on the August 29 episode of “Jones and Mego,” Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens praised Griffin for how well he did in his role, knowing the obstacles the Celtics were facing during the 2022-23 season.

“Our bigs were pretty thin,” Stevens said. “When (Robert Williams III) was out at the start of the year, those guys that played in his place did an amazing job of keeping us afloat. Blake was as good as it gets both on and off the court.”

Griffin had been phased out by the Brooklyn Nets during the 2021-22 season before he was thrown out as a last resort when the Nets faced off against the Celtics in Game 3 of their first-round matchup.

Griffin became an emergency frontcourt starter when Williams and/or Al Horford were out, starting in 16 games for the Celtics. Griffin proved to not be too bad in that role, as the Celtics won 10 of the games he started.

Blake Griffin Called Time With Celtics ‘Unbelievable’

Though it seems Griffin is not interested in playing for the Celtics again for the time being, he did not hold back when talking about how much he enjoyed his time with the team while talking with Barstool Sports’ Dan Rapoport on “Fore Play Golf.”

“Dude, Boston is unbelievable. Living in Boston, playing in Boston was, like, one of the best experiences. Dude, the fans are incredible. Having a team that is so championship-focused. One of the best parts (is) the players on that team are just like such a great group of guys,” Griffin said.

Griffin singled out Jayson Tatum for how good of a teammate he was to everyone.

“A guy like Jayson Tatum, a legit superstar, and just like so humble. Talks to everybody on the team. Talks to the whole staff. He would go sit and have a conversation with whoever. He’s not only hanging out with like Marcus (Smart) or (Jaylen Brown).”

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