“Free agent 7-footer Wenyen Gabriel has agreed to a training camp deal with the Boston Celtics,” Wojnarowski wrote via his X account.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania explained how Gabriel’s strong performance during the FIBA Tournament may have played a role in the Celtics decision to sign him.
“Gabriel’s strong play for South Sudan in the FIBA World Cup this summer helped secure the team’s first-ever spot in the 2024 Olympics. Gabriel averaged 9.2 points and 6.8 rebounds for South Sudan and has worked out for the Celtics in Boston in recent weeks,” Charania wrote via his X account.
Gabriel has spent the past season and a half with the Lakers. He also appeared in 68 games with the Lakers, where he averaged 5.5 points and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 59.6% from the field. Gabriel is another Lakers alum to head over to the Celtics, joining the likes of Mike Muscala and Dennis Schroder over the past few years.
There’s no guarantee that Gabriel will make the opening night roster, but with Robert Williams III no longer a Celtic, they’ll need all the frontcourt help they can get.
Celtics Reportedly Not Done After Jrue Holiday Trade: Report
The Celtics made a sizable shakeup on October 1 when they traded Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams III, along with two first-rounders, for Jrue Holiday. Following the move, MassLive’s Brian Robb reported on October 1 that the roster they have Holiday is not finalized.
“A league source tells MassLive that Boston is not done tweaking the roster after acquiring Holiday, with training camp on the horizon this week. The timing of subsequent moves will be dependent on a few factors, though,” Robb wrote.
Trading away Williams leaves a gaping hole in their frontcourt, which may explain why the Celtics brought Gabriel in. The Celtics have a talented frontcourt duo with Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford, but Williams brought them a safety net in case Porzingis gets hurt and/or if Horford’s age starts to come in full force. The Celtics have Gabriel and Luke Kornet to back them up, but that might not be enough support.
Brad Stevens Interested in Bringing Blake Griffin Back
While talking with President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens, Gary Washburn reported that the Celtics would like to bring Blake Griffin back. However, at the moment, he’s contemplating ending his NBA career.
“Stevens revealed the Celtics were interested in bringing back Griffin for a second year, but the former All-Star is considering retirement,” Washburn wrote in a September 30 story.
Stevens told Washburn that because of how well he did and how well-liked he was by the Celtics, they would be more than open to a reunion with Griffin if he were down for one.
“I’m not blowing smoke, it was as good as it gets. He was unbelievable when he played and even better when he didn’t. He has a fan for life from everybody in our organization. You know, if he decides to keep playing, he wants to come back out East, he knows we’re a phone call away.”
Griffin may not have been so keen on not playing much for the Celtics during the 2022-23 season, but with Williams gone, he may see a bigger role.