Report: Celtics player told Blake Griffin not to sign with Boston

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Blake Griffin was reportedly interested in the Celtics before re-signing with the Clippers in 2017.

But after getting bought out by the Pistons this year, Griffin was reportedly interested in the Nets (whom he ultimately chose), Warriors, Heat and Trail Blazers.

Missing from that list: Boston.

Jared Weiss of The Athletic:

According to a source, Brooklyn’s Blake Griffin asked a Celtics player if he should join the team midseason and was told not to come to Boston because of the apparent dysfunction.

At season’s end, multiple sources close to the players said several members of the locker room were welcoming a coaching change, noting Stevens did not appear to hold key players accountable, with complaints he was favoring Smart over others.

Kyrie Irving was the scapegoat for the Celtics’ chemistry problems, and he definitely contributed.

But it wasn’t all him.

Coming from mid-major college basketball, Brad Stevens – as good of a coach as he was – sometimes struggled to manage stars. In a telling anecdote, Gordon Hayward – who played for Stevens at Butler and was perceived by his teammates to hold favored status in Boston – gave Stevens advice when leaving for the Hornets last year.

Weiss:

sources said Hayward told Stevens he needed to establish a stronger voice with players if they were going to win.

Stevens apparently did that with Kemba Walker but was maybe too hard on the point guard. I recommend reading Weiss’ full article for more details on that relationship and the entire situation.

Walker wanted out and got traded to the Thunder.

Players unhappy with Stevens also got their wish (sort of). The Celtics promoted him to team president, where he’ll have less day-to-day interaction with players. Boston’s search for a new coach is ongoing.