Marcus Smart Sounds Off on New Celtics Addition Blake Griffin

Marcus Smart, Blake Griffin

Getty Blake Griffin #2 of the Brooklyn Nets tries to hang on to the loose ball as Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics defends.

The Boston Celtics are welcoming their newest addition to the club, Blake Griffin, after they signed him on September 30. The Celtics signed Griffin to a one-year, fully-guaranteed contract in the hopes of him adding to their frontcourt depth which should come in handy now that Danilo Gallinari is out indefinitely while rehabbing a torn ACL and Robert Williams III is out for eight-to-12 weeks due to arthroscopic surgery.

While talking with Celtics reporters, Celtics guard Marcus Smart praised Griffin for his basketball abilities, despite not being the high-flying athlete he once was.

“He’s not above the rim anymore, but he still does great things,” Smart said. “Last year, he led the league in charges taken. For a guy that doesn’t play as much, that speaks volumes.”

Dan Greenberg of Barstool Sports pointed out that Griffin, Smart, and Derrick White all were all among the league leaders in charges drawn during the 2021-22 season.

Smart also added that Griffin is “a great vet for some of these young guys to listen to.”

Last season with the Brooklyn Nets, Griffin averaged 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists while shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 26.2 percent from three.

Joe Mazzulla Provides Update on Luke Kornet

Shortly after Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Griffin was signing with the Celtics, Jared Weiss of The Athletic reported that Luke Kornet had sprained his ankle and would miss one-to-two weeks.

Given the timetable, Kornet will most likely be ready to go by opening night. However, this may explain why the Celtics got Griffin so that they are not completely barren in their frontcourt. Celtics Interim Head Coach Joe Mazzulla provided an encouraging update on Kornet, via John Karalis.

Before Kornet sprained his ankle, he was seen doing reps with the starters during the first day of training camp, which would be a telling sign that he might be in the starting lineup come opening night. If that’s the case, it’s clear that Mazzulla wants to continue playing the double-big lineup that worked so well under Ime Udoka last season.

In the 30 games Kornet has played in his previous two half-seasons with the Celtics, he has started two games. Both of which were during the 2020-21 season.

Celtics’ Final Roster Outlook

With Griffin added to the roster – and Denzel Valentine cut to make room for him – the Celtics training camp roster is at full capacity with 20 players. The difference now is that Griffin is on a fully guaranteed contract, which means, with Kornet expected to make the team on his partially guaranteed contract, the Celtics have two open roster spots left.

After cutting Valentine, the other players on training camp deals include Noah Vonleh, Jake Layman, Brodric Thomas, Justin Jackson, and Luka Samanic. JD Davison and Mfiondu Kabengele are part of the training camp roster too, but since they are on two-way contracts, their spots are safe.

So now, the question is, will they max out their roster to start the 2022-23 season, or will they leave one spot open for when the buyout season starts following the trade deadline? Whether the Celtics keep one or two of their training camp guys, that doesn’t necessarily whoever sticks around will be there the whole season.

Read More