The Boston Celtics will reportedly sign Kentucky alum Wenyen Gabriel to a training camp contract.
Free agent F/C Wenyen Gabriel is finalizing a deal with the Boston Celtics, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Gabriel, who averaged 5.5 PPG and 4.2 RPG for Lakers last season, will compete for a reserve big man spot in Boston.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 1, 2023
The 26-year-old was born in Sudan but went to high school locally in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Playing with South Sudan in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Gabriel was the blocks leader during the tournament. Gabriel averaged 9.2 PPG and 6.8 RPG in five games. Gabriel and South Sudan have qualified for the 2024 Olympics, the first ever qualification in the team’s history.
The Celtics begin training camp on Tuesday, October 3.
REPORT: Boston Celtics Sign Former Los Angeles Lakers Big Man
Wenyen Gabriel Career Breakdown
After two seasons with the Kentucky Wildcats, Wenyen Gabriel declared for the 2018 NBA Draft but went undrafted.
The Sacramento Kings signed him as a free agent for the Summer League shortly after. However, Gabriel did not appear in a game that season.
In January 2020, the Kings traded Gabriel to the Trail Blazers. Gabriel recorded his first career start with the team against the Lakers on January 31, 2020. In this game, Gabriel recorded six points, a rebound, an assist, and a block before fouling out.
The former Kings big man played in four games during the Trail Blazers’ playoff run that season and started two of them.
In November 2020, the New Orleans Pelicans signed Gabriel. After appearing in 21 games for the team in the 2020-21 season, the Pelicans released Gabriel before the following season.
Gabriel signed with the Bucks’ G League team, the Wisconsin Herd, in October 2021.
A few months later, the Brooklyn Nets signed Gabriel to a 10-day contract. Gabriel would only appear in one game for the team and only recorded one rebound.
After a short stint with the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2021-22 season, Gabriel re-joined the Wisconsin Herd. However, the Pelicans signed Gabriel again just a week later. Gabriel’s stay with the Pelicans was not long, and he was re-acquired by the Herd before playing a game for the Pelicans.
In March 2022, the Lakers signed Gabriel to a two-way contract before converting it to a regular contract in April.
In 68 games with the Lakers, Gabriel averaged 5.5 PPG and 4.2 RPG on 59.6% shooting from the field.
On January 16, 2023, Gabriel had a career game in a 140-132 win against the Houston Rockets. He scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds on 62.5 FG%. Additionally, Gabriel recorded two blocks, one assist, and a steal.
Why Did the Celtics Sign Gabriel?
Despite playing spotty minutes in his career so far, Gabriel has shown to be a solid defender. And with the team no longer having Williams III, there is a big need for depth at the big man spot, especially defensively.
The Celtics’ first preseason game is October 8 against the Philadelphia 76ers, and Gabriel is now someone to look out for.