But he isn’t the only free agent heating up the rumor mill when it comes to Boston.
According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics are also going to be a big player for potential free agent Blake Griffin, who can opt out of the final year of his deal with the L.A. Clippers and become an unrestricted free agent.
“Blake Griffin, and I think the Clippers may think this too and certainly some other teams, Boston is really the danger for Blake Griffin,” Wojnarowski said on his latest podcast. “I think Boston’s two primary free-agent targets right now are Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin. Now, they’re not going to get both of them. But they’re both players who would potentially have interest there, and who Boston, I think, looks at in different ways with their future.”
You hear that Celtics fans? Boston isn’t in danger this offseason — they ARE the danger.
Griffin and the rest of his Clippers teammates had a front-row seat for Boston’s farewell sendoff for Paul Pierce in February, and that lasting adulation for “The Truth” was not lost on the 28-year-old.
“He saw how Boston reacted to Paul Pierce and what it means to have been a great player in Boston. Now, Blake doesn’t have enough left in his career to be beloved and be the all-time Celtic that Paul Pierce was, but it does give you a sense – and I know it gave Blake a sense, it did not go unnoticed with him – about how that building and that city and the way they loved Paul,” said Woj. “I’m sure Paul being around the last couple years with him, I’m sure they discussed it.”
Griffin, who averaged 21.6 points and 8.1 rebounds over 61 games last season, would certainly provide a gigantic boost to the Boston offense alongside Al Horford. He’s never quite lived up to that No. 1 overall pick status, but there is no denying that Griffin is an offensive force that would reshape the C’s frontcourt.
But the big thing with the 28-year-old has been health, as he’s battled injuries for most of his career. Griffin would be in line for a max contract worth $130 million over four years from Boston, which is a lot of cash to invest in an oft-injured player. It’s something Danny Ainge and company will have to weigh as they decide how to build for both the present and the future.
The Celtics are expected to be a major player throughout the NBA’s offseason, from owning the top overall pick to their available cap space, and so far the rumor mill has not disappointed.
NBA free agency gets underway on July 1 when players are able to verbally agree to a contract, which can be officially announced on July 6.