Celtics

Celtics add much-needed frontcourt depth with Enes Kanter signing

Celtics add much-needed frontcourt depth with Enes Kanter signing

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics have bolstered their frontcourt with the addition of Turkish big man Enes Kanter

After trading away Aron Baynes to Phoenix and Al Horford’s decision to sign with Philadelphia, the Celtics had a glaring hole in the frontcourt in need of addressing. 

And with only a $4.8 million exception to work with, chances of Boston landing one of the top-tier free agent big men was slim. 

Shams Charania of the Athletic reported Kanter’s deal is worth $10 million over two seasons with the second season being a player option.

But in signing the 6-foot-10 Kanter, Boston adds one of the more efficient low-post scoring big men, not just in this free agent class but in the NBA as a whole. 

Heading into his ninth season, Kanter has shot better than 50 percent from the field in six of those seasons, including each of the last five.

A career 29.4 percent 3-point shooter, Kanter is not much of a three-point threat.

But as much as he is heralded for his scoring acumen, Kanter is one of the more defensively challenged big men in the NBA. 

In eight NBA seasons, he has had a negative plus/minus when he’s on the floor in five of those seasons, which includes each of the last two. 

So looking at the Celtics roster that’s coming into shape, it’s clear that they will be looking more nights than not to simply outscore teams rather than shut them down. 

And that makes the addition of Kanter, a career 54.1 percent shooter who averages 11.9 points and 7.6 rebounds, a logical one for Boston.

Early winners & losers from NBA free agency>>>>

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Celtics-Trail Blazers Takeaways: Tatum has 36 for an encore, C's roll in Portland

Celtics-Trail Blazers Takeaways: Tatum has 36 for an encore, C's roll in Portland

Jayson Tatum came in having had the best game of his life in Los Angeles, dropping 41 on LeBron & Co. 

His encore performance in Portland was just as impressive, delivering yet another brilliant scoring game in leading the Celtics to a 118-106 win. 

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Tatum finished with 36 points against the Blazers, mixing in yet another array of dribble-drive baskets, 3-pointers (he had a career-high eight 3’s) and finishes at the rim. 

This was actually a better performance for Tatum because of the game’s outcome. 

The Celtics, playing without Kemba Walker (knee) for the third game in a row, got contributions from several players in addition to Tatum. 

Still, this game was yet another one where Tatum was again the best player on the floor. 

KILLER 3’S

The Celtics were looking for the 3-point shot early and often, and considering who they were playing…you can understand why. 

Boston has been a top-10 team from 3-point range most of this season, while the Blazers have been among the NBA’s worst teams when it comes to defending the 3. 

Portland came in allowing 13 made 3's per game, a total that the Celtics reached after just three quarters of play. 

Boston finished with a season-high 19 made 3-pointers.

This was another game in which the Celtics faced an opponent with a clear weakness and to their credit, they took full advantage. 

JAYLEN BROWN

Boston began to put some distance between itself and Portland in the second quarter and Brown’s play had a lot to do with it. 

He would finish with 24 points, 12 of which came in the second quarter, which ended with the Celtics leading, 56-48.

Following the loss to the Lakers on Sunday, Brown talked about how Tatum had elevated his play to another level, and the rest of the Celtics - himself included - had to step up as well. 

Tuesday was a strong step in that direction, for sure. 

BRAD WANAMAKER

It has been a rough few games for Wanamaker, who came into Tuesday 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) from the field in his past two games. 

Wanamaker was much better on Tuesday, scoring 13 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the field. 

But more than the scoring, Wanamaker played with more poise and was among the keys to Boston getting the win. 

If you’re the Celtics, you’re hoping the backup guard will build off his solid performance especially with Walker missing the past three games and no clear indication when exactly will he will be back. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Jazz, which begins Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 10:30 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.

NBA Highlights: Jayson Tatum keeps it going with 36 points as Celtics bounce back in Portland, 118-106

NBA Highlights: Jayson Tatum keeps it going with 36 points as Celtics bounce back in Portland, 118-106

FINAL SCORE: Celtics 118, Trail Blazers 106

IN BRIEF: Jayson Tatum continued his torrid scoring pace with eight 3-pointers in a 36-point effort as the Celtics bounced back from a tough loss to the Lakers with win No. 40, beating the Trail Blazers 118-106 in Portland on their Western trip. BOX SCORE

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CELTICS RECORD: 40-17, 3rd in Eastern Conference

HIGHLIGHTS

TATUM PICKING UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF:

SMART HEATING UP:

OJELEYE TAKING THE CHARGE:

KANTER WITH THE HOOK:

TATUM TURNS IT ON AND FINISHES STRONG:

TATUM WITH THE LOB TO THEIS:

MORE TATUM...FROM DOWNTOWN:

UP NEXT:
@Utah Jazz, Wednesday, 10:30 p.m., NBC Sports Boston
Vs. Houston Rockets, Saturday, 8:30 p.m., ABC 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Jazz, which begins Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 10:30 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.