With the news that Enes Kanter Freedom entered Health and Safety Protocols, the list of Boston Celtics out due to COVID-19 reached 8, meaning that the Celtics need more frontcourt depth to survive before Grant Williams and Al Horford are able to return. Enter: Al-Farouq Aminu and Norvel Pelle, according to Shams Charania.
The Boston Celtics are planning to sign 11-year NBA veteran Al-Farouq Aminu and G League center Norvel Pelle to 10-day hardship deals, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. With eight players in COVID-19 protocols, two big men en route to join the Celtics.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 24, 2021
Aminu is an 11-year NBA veteran who’s been a solid role player for several squads and has even been a featured player for the Nigerian National Team in international competition. He was last seen playing for the San Antonio Spurs this past preseason. His best season came in 2015-16 for the Portland Trail Blazers when he averaged a career-high 10.2 points. Last season, he started in 14 games for the Orlando Magic before being traded to the Chicago Bulls in the Nikola Vucevic trade.
His nickname is “Chief,” which is pretty cool for the locker room.
Norvel Pelle is much less experienced but might be much more needed, considering that Robert Williams and Bruno Fernando are the only two centers available to play for Boston. Pelle got his start with the Philadelphia 76ers, but he’s bounced around to three different stops this season – Brooklyn, Sacramento and New York. This isn’t a glamorous signing by any means, but having an extra big body to throw at teams will definitely prove useful, especially if either of the team’s top two options runs into foul trouble. Against a team like Milwaukee on Christmas Day, having this emergency size available will be helpful.
Aminu and Pelle join Joe Johnson, CJ Miles and Justin Jackson as the team’s hardship exemption signings so far this season. The NBA and NBPA have discussed shortening quarantine time requirements, but until these changes are made, the Celtics have enough players to carry on and avoid postponements for now.