Per multiple reports, Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter has exercised his player option for the 2020-21 NBA season. Kanter will be on Boston’s books for just over $5 million in the final year of his two-year contract.
Kanter signed with the Celtics on a two-year deal via the Room Exception before the 2019-20 season. In his first year in Boston, the Turkish big man averaged 8.1 points and 7.4 rebounds over 58 games. Kanter played 16.9 minutes per game, mostly off the Celtics bench.
After seeing his role reduced, as Daniel Theis emerged as the starter, there was speculation Kanter may opt out and pursue more playing time elsewhere. The Celtics also have Robert Williams and Vincent Poirier under contract at the five, and Grant Williams logged extensive minutes as a small-ball option.
Because Kanter opted in, he is now trade eligible before the offseason officially opens over the weekend. The Celtics made a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies at the 2020 NBA Draft that remains unfinalized. Boston sent Memphis the 30th overall pick and reports are the Celtics received back two future second round picks. There is speculation that Danny Ainge could add a player or two into the deal, as a means of shedding salary to save against the luxury tax.
If Kanter is not traded, he’ll remain a depth piece for Boston behind Theis, who is now the Celtics established starting center of the currently rostered players. Although Kanter has some struggles defensively, his rebounding and inside scoring both remain excellent. He’s a force as an offensive rebounder and one of Boston’s only true post-up options.