Celtics Bringing Back Popular Player
By Jason Hall
August 4, 2021
Veteran center Enes Kanter will once again be taking a familiar path in free agency.
The Turkish center confirmed the report, sharing a photo of himself wearing his Celtics jersey at a WWE event during his previous stint with the team, along with "#BleedGreen" and the Turkish national flag.
Kanter initially joined the Celtics in 2019 after spending the final 23 games of the 2018-19 season with the Blazers. The center was waived by the New York Knicks on February 7, 2019 before signing with Portland six days later.
Kanter initially signed with Boston the following offseason, agreeing to a two-year, $10 million contract.
The center was later traded back to the Trail Blazers as part of a three-team trade that also included the Memphis Grizzlies on November 20, 2020.
Kanter averaged 8.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in 16.9 minutes per game as a backup for the Celtics during the 2019-20 season.
The 29-year-old averaged a double-double with 11.2 points and 11.0 rebounds per game in 35 appearances for the Trail Blazers during the 2020-21 season.
The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy had previously reported the Celtics were unlikely to use their midlevel exception during the offseason in an effort to maintain salary cap flexibility, according to NBC Sports Boston.
However, new president of basketball operations Brad Stevens, who previously served as the Celtics' head coach from 2013-21, is familiar with Kanter and apparently willing to pay $2.7 million to provide frontcourt depth.