The Boston Celtics are in the process of filling out their roster ahead of next season. They’ve already added forward Danilo Gallinari and combo guard Malcolm Brogdon to the mix, but since they traded five players for Brogdon, they have more pieces to add.
Boston are set relatively on the guard position, but they could use some depth anywhere on the list. Most importantly, they need to add a big back-up. Luke Kornet has just been signed on a two-year deal but signing an experienced center who can play serious minutes behind Robert Williams will be crucial.
As they scour the market to find this player, superstar forward Jayson Tatum made a subtle suggestion on Twitter. Former NBA player Harry Giles tweeted“Never hate, just wait your turn.” Tatum quickly quoted – tweeted the message that says “SIGN IT”.
While Tatum didn’t directly name the Celtics as a team to sign Giles, the pair’s shared history caused all of NBA Twitter to tie the dots.
Tatum and Giles were teammates together at Duke University during the 2016-17 season. Both players spent a year with the Blue Devils and were subsequently selected in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft. Tatum was picked third by the Celtics while Giles went to the Portland Trail Blazers (but was traded to the Sacramento Kings) in 20th place.
Due to their clear friendship, Giles has been linked with the Celtics in the past. And if his past thoughts about Giles are any indication, Tatum is a big believer in the great man.
Tatum thought Giles was better than him
Tatum performed in 2018 The Bill Simmons Podcast. He talked about Giles and specifically how he had seen him in high school. According to Tatum, Giles was the only player he truly believed was better than him.
“Harry was the only player I would have said to in high school, ‘Yeah, he could be better than me.’ In our last year he didn’t play a single game and he was still No. 1,” said Tatum.
Obviously a lot has changed since then as Tatum would have a more successful career at Duke. He played 33.3 minutes per game averaging 16.8 points, while Giles only averaged 11.5 minutes and averaged 3.9 points per contest.
Tatum has also had a more successful NBA career so far. He’s coming off an All-NBA First Team season. Meanwhile, Giles wasn’t even on an NBA roster last season. His last appearance in the NBA was in the 2020-21 season when he played in 38 games with the Trail Blazers. The big man averaged 2.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per game.
While Giles struggled to succeed, he fits into the mold of what the Celtics are looking for.
Celtics looking for cheap backup center
As Boston continues to fill out its roster, an additional center to play behind Williams and Horford is on the list. And as USA Today’s Justin Quinn pointed out, this big man will likely need to have a minimum contract.
“Boston will have to keep looking for a great back-up. However, they are reportedly looking for someone on a veteran minimum contract,” Quinn wrote. “The Celtics will likely want to play that option to a significant degree, at least in the regular season, to maintain the health of the postseason greats Robert Williams III and Al Horford.”
While Tatum would love to see his former teammate with the Celtics, Boston is likely looking for a more experienced center who could play a good chunk of minutes in the regular season. Given that Giles is struggling to earn rotating minutes in the NBA, it seems unlikely that he’ll join the team in that role.
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