Enes Kanter chose the Boston Celtics in NBA free agency, and Kemba Walker played a key part in making it happen.
Kanter recently told Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News that Walker -- who signed a four-year, $141 million max contract with Boston earlier this month -- called the 27-year-old center during NBA free agency in an effort to recruit him to join the C's.
“One of the reasons I picked Boston was because of Kemba Walker,” (Kanter) said. “He called me during free agency on Danny Ainge’s phone. He said, ‘Hey, how we doing, big man?’ That was special to me.”
Kanter agreed to a reported two-year, $10 million contract with the Celtics, and he is the second-most notable offseason addition for Boston behind Walker.
The Turkish center told Winfield that among the things he valued while considering free-agent offers were “a winning culture and good, young players on the roster.” The Celtics are able to provide all of these things despite undergoing a major roster transition this summer.
The frontcourt, in particular, has seen the most change.
Veteran center Al Horford left to join the rival Philadelphia 76ers as a free agent. Center Aron Baynes was involved in a draft night trade with the Phoenix Suns. Versatile forward and UFA Marcus Morris departed for the New York Knicks. French center Vincent Poirier was signed to provide frontcourt depth. Boston also selected Tennessee star Grant Williams in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft, and he could see minutes at center in head coach Brad Stevens' small-ball lineups.
Kanter, as an excellent rebounder and a quality low-post scorer, should play an important role for the Celtics alongside Walker and the team's talented young duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
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