The dust has finally settled on a relatively low-key free agency period for the Celtics. After a flurry of trades swapped (in total) Kemba Walker and Tristan Thompson for Josh Richardson, Al Horford, Kris Dunn, and Bruno Fernando, President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens went to work with limited cap and roster space on the open market.
After drafting Juhann Begarin with the 45th pick in the NBA Draft, Boston filled out their roster with two veteran additions. The steal of the 2021 free agency period might be Dennis Schröder for the $5.9 million taxpayer mid-level exception.
“We are really excited to welcome Dennis and his family to Boston,” Stevens said in the team’s official press release. “Dennis is a high-level player and competitor, who has consistently impacted winning with his play on both ends of the court.”
The 27-year-old spent last year in Los Angeles, “averaging 15.4 points (43.7% FG, 33.5% 3-PT, 84.8% FT), and 5.8 assists in 61 games.” Before joining the Lakers, Schröder was a Sixth Man of the Year candidate in Oklahoma City in a career year. It’s that production that the Celtics hope he brings to Boston’s bench unit next season.
The other FA addition is a familiar face: Enes Kanter. Kanter signed a two-year deal with the Celtics in 2019, but was traded last fall to the Portland Trail Blazers in order to sign Thompson.
“Enes has a unique ability to both score and rebound,” Stevens said. “Beyond his on-court contributions, he is a great teammate. We are thrilled he chose to return to Boston.”
The ten-year veteran is a pillar of consistency. Despite his defensive drawbacks, he’s a walking double-double and should provide solid big man depth behind Horford and Robert Williams.
The Celtics also announced the signing of undrafted rookie Sam Hauser to a two-way contract. In his senior season at the University of Virginia, the 23-year-old shot 41.7% from behind the arc. On Thursday night, he scored 21 points including 6-of-10 threes against the Orlando Magic in Boston’s blowout win at Summer League.
At the moment, Hauser is the Celtics only two-way player under contract. Tremont Waters is reportedly looking for a bigger opportunity elsewhere and there are rumblings that Boston could bring back fan favorite Tacko Fall. Begarin and last year’s second round pick Yam Madar could also be candidates for that second two-way deal.