The Celtics targeted Blake Griffin to bolster their front court this season, but the All-Star forward was told to stay away, according to a new report from Jared Weiss of The Athletic.
Apparently, Griffin asked a Celtics player if he should join the team midseason after the Pistons had bought him out, and was advised to sign elsewhere. He wound up joining the Nets for the duration of the season.
On the popular “Pardon My Take” podcast back in March, Griffin, 32, said he liked the Celtics, but thought signing with the Nets was the best decision for him.
“I will tell you some of the teams,” Griffin said. “I really liked Boston. I really liked Golden State. I really liked Portland. There was a few other teams. It was a tough decision, but ultimately I had to do what was best for me. And I think my ability to get a dunk.”
It’s hard to argue with Griffin’s choice. The six-time All-Star experienced a small renaissance with Brooklyn, starting at center for the duration of its run to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. He averaged 8.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while shooting a postseason career-high 52 percent from the field.
The Celtics wound up signing Jabari Parker to fill their void up front. The 2014 No. 2 overall pick was a virtual non-factor, only playing in 10 games.
While Griffin almost certainly wouldn’t have propelled the Celtics to championship glory, his reported decision to bypass signing with Boston shows the damage done to the franchise’s reputation. The Celtics aren’t a draw for the league’s elite players. Brad Stevens must fix that before he can fix this roster.