Celtics Sign Enes Kanter To Two-Year Deal

JULY 17: The Celtics have officially signed Kanter, the team announced today (via Twitter).

JULY 1: The Celtics have agreed to terms with free agent center Enes Kanter on a two-year deal with a second-year player option, his manager Hank Fetic announced today (via Twitter). According to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (via Twitter), Kanter’s new contract will be worth nearly $10MM, so it projects to fit into Boston’s room exception.

Kanter, 27, has spent time with the Jazz, Thunder, Knicks, and Trail Blazers since entering the league as the third overall pick in the 2011 draft. Last season, he was bought out with the Knicks in February and signed in Portland for the rest of the season. In 67 total games, he averaged 13.7 PPG and 9.8 RPG in 24.5 minutes per contest.

Kanter boosted his stock down the stretch by taking over as the Blazers’ starting center after Jusuf Nurkic broke his leg. Kanter averaged 11.4 PPG and 9.7 RPG in 16 postseason contests. Portland agreed to acquire Hassan Whiteside in a trade with Miami earlier today, signaling that the club didn’t expect to bring back Kanter.

Having agree to acquire Kemba Walker using their cap room, the Celtics had been on the lookout for a big man with their $4.8MM room exception. They were linked to Kanter and Kevon Looney on Saturday, though Looney’s agent tells Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link) that he didn’t hear from the C’s.

While Kanter will help improve the Celtics’ interior scoring and rebounding numbers, he’s not considered an elite defender, so the team will have some work to do in its frontcourt to make up for the departures of Al Horford and Aron Baynes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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39 thoughts on “Celtics Sign Enes Kanter To Two-Year Deal

    • Kanter’s pretty good though. He’s no slouch.

      Luke you’re going to sleep for two weeks when this is all done !! You and the guys are putting in crazy hours with the draft then this.

    • He’s no Al Horford but he’s also getting paid 1/5 of Horford’s salary so it seems like a net gain to me???!!!

  1. victorg

    ok if you are a Celtics fan if you went into the offseason and were told you would loose Horford/Kyrie and Rozier …. and signing Kemba Walker and Kanter … I have to imagine you would say F NO.

    • Curtisrowe

      Ugh. Dude can board. He works hard. He can score down low. He is awful on D. But in this market, 10 million for 2 years is cheap money.

    • Curtisrowe

      The only caveat is that Kyrie and the rest of the team all wanted to murder each other. I am more than fine with Kemba for Kyrie. Horford is obviously way better than Kanter. But honestly…Rozier is easily replaced.

      • victorg

        idk man i mean Kemba really has not done much aside from this year (contract year) as of right now the leadership on this team is looking mighty thin… i think Rozier was probably too volatile but don’t be shocked to see him become a main stay for CHAR and have a really nice first season

        • Curtisrowe

          I get your points. But after watching that trainwreck all year and listening to both Kyrie and Rozier cry all the time…I’ll take Kemba. Agree 100 percent on Horford > Kanter.

          • whoneedsfacts

            I actually really like Kanter, he brings it 1000% but his D can ruin you. I really don’t like him as the primary center on a team that plans to win more than lose.

            • Curtisrowe

              I like him too, he is one of the best rebounders in the league. As you say though I don’t like him as “the guy” Williams isn’t close to ready.

        • KnicksFanCavsFan

          @victorg Kemba averaged 20 pts and 6 assists for his career. On a team with other options his numbers should maintain. He handles the ball and should be able to get more open shots so his scoring shouldn’t suffer. He has scores to pass it to so his assists might even go up.

    • I am a Celtics fan. And if somebody told me 2 years ago that the C’s would go deeper in the playoffs with Kyrie and Haywood watching from the bench I’d of said F NO! So let’s just sit back and enjoy the ride.

    • Rojeff9

      Walker/Edwards is a good replacement for Irving/Rozier.
      Kanter is a downgrade but Horford is 6 years older, injury prone and cost 40 mil.
      I’ll take it.

  2. ishkabibble

    More a replacement for Baynes than Horford. But he can board and has some offensive game.

  3. From an off season that started off horrible, Celtics make a nice recovery. Walker, for them, makes sense even if he’s not in a vacuum worth max. Kanter is a steal for this amount. He was ascending before Fizdale showed up. A top 5 low post player and rebounder, whether those skills are as valued today as before or not, they still matter. Bottom line is he can be a starting C on a playoff team. How many of those are around for this amount?

      • It’s the new school approach, but perhaps a guy who shoots 60% from 2 range, and is a maniac on the offensive boards, should be exempt from it. He’s not going to shoot 40% from 3 range in any case, and you’ll lose some of those second chance points he regularly provides putting him out there. Don’t be shocked if Stevens plays to his strengths, and uses someone else when he wants to open up middle or a rim protector.

        • Curtisrowe

          Of course, I wouldn’t be shocked. I also wouldn’t be shocked if Brad had him shoot 2 a game. Baynes is exhibit A in that area. Career 28 percent from 3…hit 34 percent last year. Kanter hits them at 29.

        • KnicksFanCavsFan

          @dxc Kanter seems to be a good locker room nba guy too. I think the culture needs a change. And I don’t think Kyrie was the cause but his temperament didn’t handle it well.

          • Definitely. First year, with KP as star, Kanter was THE leader in the locker room, especially after he got in LBJ’s face to defend Frank. KP blessed it. Not sure how his tension with Fizdale played in the locker room last year, but Robinson and Knox were his elves in his Kanter Claus thing last X-mas.

      • x%sure

        Portland did not use him in the post in the playoffs, so he was a liability except for a few games. I think Stevens will get more out of him there than standing him at the 3pt line.

  4. bdallen714

    Maybe Williams will get more time this year, if he and Kanter play together, he may be able to erase some of the awful D that Kanter might play

    • jiffy011

      Williams will DEF be on the court more this season.. Combination of need and being healthier.. they also have a ton of faith in Grant Williams being able to step in and play a pivotal role in year 1…

  5. jiffy011

    They need to be in on the discussion for Boogie Cousins.. they were supposedly his second choice last year when he chose GS, and he still has a lot to prove, so they should be able to get him cheap on a prove it deal..

    Makes way too much sense, which means it probably won’t get done..

    • ramboboston

      No money… We were lucky to get Kanter! Even if we get the mid level exception from the sign and trade with Walker and Rozier, we still wouldn’t have enough, Barring a trade, Kanter is our new starting starting Center.

  6. Archie M.

    I think Kanter is perfect for Brad Stevens & the Celtics. Not a Celtics fan (I live in L.A.) but I must say this version of the Celtics with Kemba & Kanter looks promising. I actually think Kemba’s game & mentality is more suited for the Celtics than Kyrie’s. Now Ainge just has to shop for a suitable replacement for Morris.

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