The Memphis Grizzlies just signed away the perfect low-risk, high-reward free agency option for the Boston Celtics’ second unit: big man Bismack Biyombo, who last played for the Phoenix Suns during the 2022-23 season. Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Biyombo is set to sign an exemption following the fifth game of Ja Morant’s current 25-game suspension and “brings rim protection (1.4 blocks per game last season) with Steven Adams out for the season.”
With the Cs gutting their frontcourt depth in the Jrue Holiday trade, sending out Robert Williams III, and leaving the center position in the hands of Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford, and Luke Kornet, Biyombo would’ve given them an insurance body who doesn’t do the spectacular; but rather the necessary grunt work in the paint that goes unnoticed.
Now, Biyombo will be joining former Celtics fan favorite Marcus Smart on a struggling Grizzlies team that looks set to struggle until Morant comes back — or beyond that, considering Memphis was able to win games in 2022-23 without Morant. Adams’ absence is being felt profoundly, but Biyombo is essentially a tourniquet for the Grizz this season.
Boston Celtics have unforeseen second-unit frontcourt worry
Since being benched, it doesn’t seem like Horford looks as motivated; making sloppy errors on both ends and carelessly turning the ball over at times. It could just be early-season struggles for a veteran who knows games are more important in April, May, and June than October, but it could also be a sign of someone unwilling to accept a bench role after never being anything but a starter in Boston.
Does that mean Horford should be traded? It shouldn’t. But it doesn’t appear as though he’ll be the same regular-season contributor in 2023-24 that he’s been the past two years, so for the sake of playoff seeding, it’d be worth it for Brad Stevens and Co. to find another big man for the Cs bench.