Celtics Re-Sign Backup Center to Enter Free Agency

Celtics Re-Sign Backup Center to Enter Free Agency

Celtics without Luke Kornet for game two vs. Miami - Yahoo Sports

When free agency opened on Sunday night, the Boston Celtics had just a few unrestricted free agents available.

The Celtics moved swiftly to prevent one of those players from leaving.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that the Celtics brought back reserve center Luke Kornet for a one-year contract to kick off free agency. Wojnarowski did not disclose Kornet’s deal’s total financial amount.

Kornet developed into a reliable backup option and a crucial member of the Celtics’ locker room throughout their championship run. In 63 regular-season games, the 7-foot-2 big man played 15.6 minutes while scoring 5.3 points, pulling down 4.1 rebounds, and dishing out one block. During his four seasons with the franchise during two different stints, it was Kornet’s greatest season with Boston.

Celtics re-sign backup center Luke Kornet

While he was limited by a wrist injury in the Eastern Conference finals, Kornet was mainly rested from the starting lineup during the playoffs. In his 13 appearances, he averaged three points while winning an NBA championship.

Given that the Celtics lack depth at the center position, keeping Kornet around is important. After undergoing surgery this past week, Kristaps Porzingis is anticipated to miss a significant portion of the upcoming season. Meanwhile, as the 38-year-old Al Horford prepares for his 18th NBA season, the Celtics would be wise to avoid overloading him with work.

Kornet provides the Celtics with rim protection when he comes off the bench, and head coach Joe Mazzulla has praised Kornet’s fit within the team’s defensive scheme. Despite having a limited offensive repertoire, Kornet can at least roll to the basket and be a reliable threat from long range, which is something the Celtics’ roster lacks a lot of.

With the majority of their championship team still together, the Celtics won’t be significant players in free agency. The Celtics have a lot of work to do this offseason in the way of contract extensions because Sam Hauser, Derrick White, and Jayson Tatum are all due for big salaries.

Report: Luke Kornet suffered sprained ankle, will miss 1-2 weeks for Boston  Celtics - CelticsBlog

Xavier Tillman and Svi Mykhailiuk are both unrestricted free agents that the Celtics will need to make decisions about moving ahead, and Oshae Brissett has a player option that he reportedly declined. Drew Peterson and JD Davison, two G League players, are both restricted free agents.

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