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If not Blake Griffin, who should the Boston Celtics sign?

With the limited options left on the market, Griffin’s familiarity with the Celtics alone makes him among the most appealing frontcourt options. Griffin endeared himself to Celtics fans not because he was a former star on the back end of his career – they’ve seen that movie more times than they can count – but because his hustle and basketball IQ made him a surprisingly effective addition knowing what they had asked him. Hence, a reunion with Griffin would be a slam dunk. No pun intended.

But what if Griffin doesn’t see it that way? Maybe Griffin’s ready to take his ball and go home, or, on the flip side, he believes he’s capable of a bigger role than the one the Celtics gave him. He showed that he had more juice left than initially perceived. All indications are that the offer’s on the table, and yet, despite Griffin going on the record calling his time with the Celtics “unbelievable,” he still hasn’t signed on the dotted line.

If Griffin decides to go the other way, the Boston Celtics have a few other options. Now are these ideal options? Of course not, but that’s to be expected. If they were to be in any sort of demand, they wouldn’t be options this late into the offseason. Not to mention, they would basically play the same role that Griffin, Mike Muscala, and Luke Kornet did last season.

But before we begin, let’s take a slight detour and get this out of the way now. Christian Wood’s not coming to Boston. Extinguish all hope on that front if anyone has any. For now, at least. Rest assured, Wood would not want to play on a team where he would only get minutes if Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford, and/or Robert Williams III were out. Though that will more likely than not happen at various points during the 2024-25 season, someone like Wood would likely prefer a role where he’s always certain to see the floor day in and day out. Such would not be the case in Boston.

That being said, let’s begin.

If the Boston Celtics want another floor stretching big, their best option would be a ring-chasing veteran

JaMychal Green – Green was supposed to replace much of what Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica brought when the Warriors signed him last season. Green was described as “inconsistent” by FanSided’s Peter O’Keefe, as he was marred with injuries and a bout with COVID-19. However, Green had his moments with the Warriors last season, and his numbers weren’t too shabby as a whole – 6.4 points on a career-high 54% shooting from the field and 37.8% from three, per

Evidently, Green’s play wasn’t good enough to warrant a reunion with Golden State, it seems. Then again, the Warriors may have signed the death warrant to their own season the moment Draymond Green decked Jordan Poole in the face in training camp, so it may not have mattered what JaMychal did for them, regardless.

Green failed to be consistent when featured in Golden State’s rotation, but Boston wouldn’t put the same pressure on him in a smaller role. Green’s history as a floor-spacing big man – 36.8% career three-point shooter per Basketball-Reference – and being only 33 years old could make him a solid option in the role the Celtics would have Blake play as an emergency big.

Other options – Dewayne Dedmon, Frank Kaminsky

If the Boston Celtics want a shot-blocker, their best option would be a former lottery pick

Bismack Biyombo – It’s easy to be the best option as a shot-blocker on the open market when you are essentially the only shot-blocking option on the open market. Still, it’s surprising that Biyombo has remained on the market after two solid campaigns as the Suns’ backup center.

Last season, Biyombo proved that he’s still quite good at what he’s always been good at – blocking shots and getting rebounds. Averaging 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 14.3 minutes a game, per Basketball-Reference, is not easy. Given the limited playing time, those numbers are impressive, but that’s just Biyombo being Biyombo. The headline here is that he still has NBA-caliber skills.

It is somewhat of a red flag that the Suns, whose acquisition of Bradley Beal this summer prevented them from being able to offer any free agent more than a veteran’s minimum, opted not to keep him, but that was largely because they couldn’t trust him in the playoffs due to his offensive limitations. With a healthy squad in the playoffs (knock on wood), the Celtics would not depend on Biyombo to do that. They would only count on him primarily to fill in for Timelord.

Other options – Um… Serge Ibaka?

If the Boston Celtics want a big who has experience with the team, their best option is not a former NBA champion

Tristan Thompson – Just kidding.

Noah Vonleh – Admittedly, he is kind of an obscure one to put out there, sure. Vonleh made the Celtics final roster in 2022. Better yet, he actually played a role in the Celtics’ frontcourt rotation early on following Williams’ decision to get surgery just before training camp and the Celtics resting Horford on back-to-backs.

Vonleh was eventually phased out because of both Williams’ return in December and Blake outshining him once he got in game shape. Vonleh was in the doghouse before he was traded, then was practically forgotten once the Celtics acquired Mike Muscala.

Besides his familiarity, Vonleh didn’t show much in his limited time, but the Boston Celtics went 26-12 between when Vonleh first played for them and last. He was far from a game-changer for them, but it could have been worse. It’s worth noting that Vonleh did not do a bad job covering Joel Embiid on Opening Night 2022. Per, Vonleh covered Embiid for 27 minutes, allowing eight points total to the league MVP.

If this all sounds like a stretch, it’s because it is. The primary reason why Vonleh’s being mentioned is because he’s played for the Celtics before and wasn’t awful. How much worse would he be than Taj Gibson or Gorgui Dieng? He’s also signed with the Shanghai Sharks this season, which may or may not complicate a reunion, but if familiarity is what the Celtics want, then Vonleh has that going for him and not much else.

If past Boston experience from a frontcourt player is truly what the Celtics value with their last roster spot, they may also wait this out to see if Muscala, Danilo Gallinari, or Daniel Theis finish the season with their respective teams. But all of this centers back to Griffin coming back to the Boston Celtics. The ball’s been in his court for much of the summer. While the Celtics’ main rotation is pretty much set, his role with the Celtics held enough merit last season that replacing what he brought won’t be exactly easy.