On October 20, Shams Charania reported that the Boston Celtics waived big man Wenyen Gabriel; a former Los Angeles Lakers teammate of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook.
Gabriel was a solid hand, but his release is simply a result of the business of the NBA. There are only so many spots to go around, and Gabriel was foul-prone during his three preseason appearances; amassing nine fouls in 25 minutes of floor-time.
The Boston Celtics are currently in the hunt for an NBA Championship and they need to make space for the players that they feel can help them over the top. Gabriel is a serviceable backup big, and the odds are high that he’ll find himself a roster spot on a new team.
Wenyen Gabriel won’t have NBA homecoming with Boston Celtics in 2023-24
Gabriel played high school basketball in the Massachusets and New Hampshire area. Unfortunately, Gabriel won’t have a homecoming with the Boston Celtics during the 2024-24 season.
As mentioned, the business of basketball isn’t always one that leads to happy endings. Gabriel had the motor to make hustle plays, but Boston needs more than just a limited-minute hustle player when the margins of a championship are so thin — and the current roster has the unenviable task of delivering for a fanbase that is increasingly losing their patience after each of the past few seasons have ended prematurely with a different franchise hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
The Cs now have an open roster spot to work with, and they may want to leave it open so that they can be opportunistic later in the season; potentially making a splash at the trade deadline or in the buyout market.
With this extra spot available, the Celtics could go out and get a playmaker, maybe another shooter, or possibly another backup defensive big who can be an enforcer on defense.