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Report: Celtics guarantee contracts for four players, could lead to move ahead of trade deadline

Luke Kornet, Svi Mykhailiuk, Dalano Banton, and Lamar Stevens see their contracts become full guaranteed.

Detroit Pistons (122) Vs. Boston Celtics (128) At TD Garden (OT)
Sam Hauser, Lamar Stevens, Boston Celtics
Photo by Danielle Parhizkaran/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

It sounds like Luke Kornet, Lamar Stevens, Svi Mykhailiuk, and Dalano Banton will be sticking with the Celtics for a bit longer. According to MassLive’s Brian Robb, the quartet saw all four of their non-guaranteed contracts become guaranteed on Sunday night.

Boston could have waived each of them prior to that deadline if they wanted to avoid fully guaranteeing their deals for the year.

Of the bunch, Kornet has seen the most playing time for the Cs. He’s served as the third-string center behind Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford, playing about 14.2 minutes per game in 22 appearances.

The 28-year-old has been pretty solid in his minor role, averaging an efficient 5.1 points per contest on 70.6% shooting from the field. He’s also good for about 3.7 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game.

Kornet is now guaranteed for $2.4 million in salary, while Mykhailiuk, Banton, and Stevens will all net $2 million.

As Robb points out in his report, the fact that the salaries are now guaranteed doesn’t necessarily mean that these four guys will finish the season in green. Brad Stevens can still include them in any potential trade. In the case that any potential trade target doesn’t fit in to the $6.2 million Traded Player Exception, created by Grant Williams’ exit last summer, he could use their salaries to try and bring back some extra help ahead of the Feb. 8 trade deadline.

According to Robb’s report, it sounds like Stevens may be looking to do something like that as the Cs are “strongly expected” to make a move.

“Ultimately, multiple league sources have indicated to MassLive that the Celtics are strongly expected to make some kind of move ahead of the trade deadline,” Robb wrote Monday. “Keeping the team’s roster fully intact now past the guarantee deadline keeps more potential opportunities open for getting a deal done to bolster the back end of the roster.”

As far as potential targets go, that’s still pretty unclear. Even with these newly guaranteed contracts, it wouldn’t be easy to match the salary of an Alex Caruso without relinquishing a member of the core rotation.

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