Ex-Lakers Big Man Signs Contract With Celtics

wenyen gabriel

Getty Former Los Angeles Lakers big man Wenyen Gabriel.

The Boston Celtics are retooling their roster with the recent trade of center Robert Williams III and guard Malcolm Brogdon to the Portland Trail Blazers for guard Jrue Holiday. The team is losing size by trading away Williams so they’re looking to a former Los Angeles Laker for help.

According to an October 1 X post from The Atheltic’s Shams Charania, the Celtics are signing free agent forward/center Wenyen Gabriel to a contract.

Gabriel spent a portion of the 2021-22 season with the Lakers and all of the 2022-23 season in Los Angeles, having played in 68 games. He’s not much of an offensive threat as he only averaged 5.5 points a game but made 59.6% of his shots last season so he scores more often than not when he shoots. What he’ll mainly bring is his athleticism and length on the defensive side of the ball.

The Celtics are losing an elite defender with Williams getting traded so they’ll mainly need Gabriel to pick up some slack on defense.

Rob Pelinka Praises LeBron James’ Work Ethic

LeBron James is entering his 21st year in the NBA but has yet to show signs of slowing down. He averaged 28.9 points per game last season and was named All-NBA Third Team. Heading into Year 21, James is still hoping to play at an All-Star level.

According to general manager Rob Pelinka, James has been working relentlessly this offseason.

“It’s staggering for a player who has 20 years under the hood already and is preparing for 21 like he’s a rookie,” Pelinka said of James in his September 28 press conference. “He’s been doing 6 a.m. workouts. Probably been in our building as much as any player this offseason. Been in the weight room as much as any player. Any team LeBron’s played for, it’s been pretty uniform that his work sets the tone.

“There has been nothing but an increase in seeing that here. To me, it’s, ‘Let’s be about it, let’s not talk about it.’ He’s definitely been about it this offseason.”

Rob Pelinka Talks Anthony Davis’ New Contract

While LeBron James is likely to still be a productive player for the Lakers this season, he’s going to be 39 in December. The team needs the 30-year-old Anthony Davis to take the mantle as best player. Los Angeles gave him a contract extension this offseason and that’s something Rob Pelinka didn’t have any reservations about.

“The theme was, ‘We want to commit to you, but we want you to commit to us,’” Pelinka said. “And one of the aspects that we addressed with him in that exchange was becoming a leader and being the hardest worker, and he really did that this offseason. … Training more this offseason than I’ve seen with him as a Laker. He’s taken on that leadership mantle and I think he knows that when the franchise invests in him, like we did this summer, he’s gonna return that. That’s just his character.”

Davis’ work ethic has come into question in the past but head coach Darvin Ham assured fans and media that the big man has come into training camp in great shape.

“He came back leaner, stronger, quicker, more explosive,” Ham said, who sat next to Pelinka at the press conference. “People forget … he’s only 30 years old. So there’s a huge, huge road still ahead of him in how he can lead this franchise and hopefully put some more banners up here.”

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