The Boston Celtics have a lot going on right now. Injury-wise, the Celtics will be without two key players to start the 2022-2023 season as Robert Williams and Danilo Gallinari enter recovery.
Meanwhile, Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is suspended for the 2022-2023 season, and it seems his position with the organization beyond this season is up in the air.
The Celtics have a lot of obstacles to overcome if they want to run it back in the East as the defending Conference Champions, but they haven’t let the setbacks get to them.
On Friday, Boston made a key depth move by scooping up former Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin. The six-time All-Star joined the Nets two seasons ago after he reached a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons.
Griffin was a solid addition during the 2020-2021 run, but he fell out of favor in Brooklyn last year while competing on a one-year contract. Following a first-round sweep against the Celtics, Griffin parted ways with the Nets and eventually joined Boston.
Who Becomes Available?
To create the necessary roster space to sign Griffin, the Celtics had to waive a player. According to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports, that player is Denzel Valentine.
Valentine, a former first-round pick for the Chicago Bulls, has struggled to hit his stride at the NBA level. While he showed some promise through his first two seasons in Chicago by averaging eight points per game and knocking down 37 percent of his shots, he struggled to crack a consistent role in the Bulls’ rotation.
Last year, Valentine concluded a four-year run with the Bulls by signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He appeared in just 22 games with the Cavs before getting shipped off to the New York Knicks in January. While Valentine was moved to New York, he was quickly waived.
After going to the Utah Jazz on a ten-day contract, Valentine joined the Celtics’ G League affiliate, the Maine Celtics, in January 2022. It seemed Boston would give Valentine a chance to crack a spot on their main roster this summer, but the idea of adding Griffin was a better option.
Once upon a time, the Sixers were considered a possible landing spot for Valentine. As he was a 36 percent three-point shooter for the Bulls from 2016 to 2020, the Sixers reportedly considered acquiring the young veteran from Chicago.
Ultimately, the Sixers traded for Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III by making a deal with the Golden State Warriors. Years later, Valentine is available, but the Sixers are unlikely to look into acquiring Boston’s recent drop.