The 2023-24 NBA season is right around the corner as the Boston Celtics will gun for another NBA Finals appearance. Things look promising as we enter September’s final stretch, as the Celtics are the favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy this year.
Even though we have one of the best rosters in the Association, there’s still room for improvement. The Celtics have one open roster spot to fill with just under a month to go until the season opener against the New York Knicks.
Many Boston fans have been open about using that spot on Blake Griffin. After all, he did spend the 2022-23 campaign in Beantown. Having said that, there are other available free agents worth using the final roster spot on who could be better contributors than Griffin.
With that in mind, here are three veteran free agents the Celtics should target instead of Griffin.
3 Celtics Free Agent Targets
1. Ish Smith
On paper, the Celtics appear to be set at the point guard position. However, that isn’t exactly the case as long as the Malcolm Brogdon saga continues.
It was revealed on Sept. 21 that Brogdon is not happy with the Celtics for multiple reasons, per ESPN‘s Ramona Shelburne. The report spoke on “NBA Today” about how the veteran guard wasn’t happy about being at the center of trade discussions this offseason, nor was he thrilled about how the team handled his elbow injury in the playoffs.
Although Brogdon will reportedly be good to go for the season opener, recovery setbacks happen and there’s always the threat that he might not want to play with us.
If that’s the case, it wouldn’t hurt to go out and sign a veteran like Ish Smith.
Smith is a battle-tested veteran who’s suited up in 762 career games across 13 different teams. He most recently spent last season winning a championship ring with the Denver Nuggets and while his scoring numbers weren’t special, he still averaged 12.3 assists per 100 possessions — the best mark of his career.
Derrick White is more of a shooting guard at this point while I don’t trust Payton Pritchard and Dalano Blanton to handle the bulk of PG duties if Brogdon can’t suit up at any point.
Bringing Smith in helps solve that issue while providing Boston with another solid playmaking option when given the chance.