The Boston Celtics made a surprising signing on Friday, September 30 when the team inked Blake Griffin to a one-year, fully-guaranteed deal just days after the opening of the team’s 2022 training camp.
Of course, with some context, the move isn’t as surprising. Boston’s fill-in starting pivot, Luke Kornet, suffered an ankle sprain in practice this past week and will miss one-to-two weeks per The Athletic’s Jared Weiss. That wasn’t announced until after the Griffin signing, causing some confusion upon Adrian Wojnarowski’s initial transaction announcement.
Griffin’s name was not one often linked to the Celtics this past offseason. Instead, names like Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and DeMarcus Cousins were tossed around by hopeful Cs fans hoping to add some depth in Robert Williams’ 8-12 week absence due to arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
Carmelo Anthony’s name was frequently mentioned, though. Melo was last on the Los Angeles Lakers and is waiting on a call from a franchise in need of a scoring burst, and it seemed like following Danilo Gallinari’s ACL tear on September 2 that Boston would be the ones giving him the call.
That call never came, though. Instead, the veteran minimum deal rumored for Anthony went to Griffin — and Spotrac’s Keith Smith explained the reasoning behind that:
Blake Griffin is an emergency stand-in for the Boston Celtics
Truthfully, the Cs likely never had any indication of adding someone of Blake Griffin’s pedigree in free agency at this point in his career before training camp. His addition was one born out of necessity more so than an outright desire on the part of Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens and the rest of the front office to bring him on.
Once Robert Williams and Luke Kornet are back, unless Griffin returns to the level of play we saw from him on the Brooklyn Nets when he first arrived — certainly not what he displayed during the 2021-22 season anyway — the 6x All-Star will likely be a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency big man off the bench for Boston.