BOSTON – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – The Boston Celtics have signed center Enes Kanter, the team announced. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed but were widely reported as a 2-year, $10M deal.
Kanter provides the Celtics with some front court strength on the offensive and defensive end while checking off a small portion of the box for team rebounding, a gaping hole in the team’s infrastructure.
An eight-year NBA veteran, Kanter, 27, holds career averages of 11.9 points (54.1% FG, 78.0% FT), 7.6 rebounds, and 22.2 minutes across 583 games (216 starts) with Utah, Oklahoma City, New York, and Portland. Originally selected third overall by the Jazz in the 2011 NBA Draft, Kanter has averaged at least 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in each of his last six seasons dating back to 2013-14.
“Enes demands a lot of attention on the glass at both ends,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “His ability to get easy baskets in the paint is a problem for opponents. I believe he has a chance to progress as a perimeter shooter.”
Kanter (6-11, 250) is coming off an impressive postseason performance in which he ranked third in scoring (11.4 ppg) and first in rebounding (9.7 rpg) on a Trail Blazers team that advanced to its first Western Conference Finals series since 2000. He produced five double-doubles in 16 playoff games, including a 20-point, 18-rebound performance in Game 1 of Portland’s First Round matchup against Oklahoma City on April 14.
Kanter has finished a season averaging double-digit rebounds twice in his eight-year career, most recently with the Knicks in 2017-18 (11.0 rpg). He averaged just shy of a double-double last season with 13.7 points (54.9% FG), and 9.8 rebounds in 67 games (31 starts) split between the Knicks and Trail Blazers.
Kanter will wear No. 11 with the Celtics, a uniform number recently worn by All-Star guard Kyrie Irving who departed the team as a free agent under less-than-cordial relations.