OCTOBER 3: Gabriel’s signing is official, the Celtics announced in a press release.
With Robert Williams III now en route to the Trail Blazers, the Celtics have acted quickly to shore up their frontcourt depth. Charania notes that Gabriel will hope to carve out rotation minutes off the bench with Boston. He will play behind expected starters Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford.
The 6’9″ big man out of Kentucky spent the past two seasons as a springy reserve with the Lakers.
In 2022/23, Gabriel was mostly employed by head coach Darvin Ham as a small-ball five. Across 68 contests with Los Angeles, the 26-year-old averaged 5.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.5 BPG and 0.5 APG in just 15.1 MPG. He largely fell out of the team’s rotation during its run to the Western Conference Finals this spring, as his shooting deficiencies and inability to guard true centers made him something of a liability.
Charania tweets that Boston had brought in Gabriel for workouts recently as the club looked to fill out its roster. Gabriel helped his native South Sudan nab its first Olympic berth ever during the FIBA World Cup this summer. He averaged 9.2 PPG and 6.8 RPG during the tournament, Charania notes.
Gabriel has also played for the Kings, Trail Blazers, Pelicans, and Nets during his four-year NBA career.