The Boston Celtics are reportedly finalizing a deal with Enes Kanter, which sees the rebounding machine return to the Celtics on a one-year deal.
Kanter previously played for the Celtics during the 2019-20 season before being traded on Draft Night to the Portland Trailblazers in a three-team deal. In his maiden season in Boston, Kanter provided a scoring punch off the bench, as he averaged 8.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, and an assist per game while averaging 16.4 minutes.
Current reports are stating that Kanter’s contract is likely to be for the veteran minimum.
Per sources: Enes Kanter's deal is for the veteran minimum. Boston is not planning to use any of the MLE to bring back the center.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) August 4, 2021
While in Portland, Kanter averaged a double-double in points (11.2) and rebounds (11), with four of his boards on the offensive end. Strangely, the Celtics entered free-agency over-loaded at the center position.
Still, with a Tristan Thompson deal in the works and Moses Brown being re-routed to the Dallas Mavericks as part of the Josh Richardson trade, the Celtics looked a little light on big-man depth.
Kanter’s addition may raise some eyebrows with the fanbase, as the Celtics gave up draft capital to clear him off their roster just over a season ago. That draft capital materialized into Desmond Bane, who had a solid rookie season for Memphis.
However, despite the 10-year veteran’s defensive misgivings, he comes to the team already holding a strong relationship with the core rotation and will provide much-needed energy on the offensive end.
Kanter’s addition will provide a youthful Celtics bench with another veteran voice who has playoff experience. More importantly, he has tasted a deep playoff run with the Celtics - albeit in a bit-part role.
Having amassed 731 NBA appearances in his career, Kanter is a known commodity and continually finds himself with a roster spot. His arrival on the Celtics roster gives new head coach Ime Udoka an additional avenue to explore against the league’s more physical teams and a trustworthy presence on both the defensive and offensive glass.