Celtics Notes: Griffin, Williams, Brogdon, Brown, Tatum

The Celtics have interest in re-signing Blake Griffin, but the 34-year-old big man is considering retirement, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Speaking at a youth basketball camp this week, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said the organization was thrilled with Griffin’s contributions last season. Even though he only played in 41 games, Griffin made an impact as a veteran leader.

“I’m not blowing smoke, it was as good as it gets,” Stevens said. “He was unbelievable when he played and even better when he didn’t. He has a fan for life from everybody in our organization. You know, if he decides to keep playing, he wants to come back out East, he knows we’re a phone call away.”

Stevens also told the campers it wasn’t easy to convince Griffin to join the team last fall. The Celtics were looking for someone to fill in for center Robert Williams, who missed the early part of the season with an injury, and Stevens was candid about the potential lack of playing time once he returned. Griffin initially turned down the offer, but agreed when Stevens made a second phone call.

Stevens touched on a few more topics, according to Washburn:

  • The Celtics consider this a pivotal season for Williams, who has been bothered by injuries throughout his career. Even though Boston can turn to Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford and Luke Kornet when Williams is unavailable, Stevens believes they’re “a different team” with Williams on the court. “He’s not an old guy, but he’s not a rookie anymore,” Stevens said. “He’s six years in now and this is the time where guys make leaps and make jumps. He showed his defensive versatility a couple of years ago. His offensive threat at the rim and his rebounding is as good as it gets, and the keys for him are to be available as much as possible and to be able play as long as spurts as possible.”
  • Stevens confirmed that he and other Celtics officials talked to Malcolm Brogdon after he was nearly sent to the Clippers in the Porzingis trade, just like they had discussions with Jaylen Brown after he was rumored to be part of an offer for Kevin Durant last summer. “Some stuff has been talked about with the Brogdon stuff, you just have conversations about it,” Stevens said. “You understand why a person would feel angry about that. But at the same time, that’s why you have those conversations. You work together. Obviously, in almost all scenarios, you’re talking about unbelievable players on all sides. That’s the other part of the recognition being discussed.”
  • Stevens also acknowledged the need for Brown and Jayson Tatum to take over as team leaders after Marcus Smart was traded to Memphis. “I think Marcus is a good leader and we have a lot of other good leaders in that locker room, too,” Stevens said. “Everybody does it through their own personality and their own way. We talked about it several times three, four, five years ago, is one of the keys to our whole program will be when Jaylen and Jayson get to 25, 26 and 27, being two of the best leaders in the league, and they’re there. I think they will without question (lead) and they were already.”
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