Enes Kanter

Celtics president Danny Ainge: Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter were ‘Plan A’


The Celtics, even a couple months ago, were still reportedly hoping to trade for Anthony Davis and re-sign Kyrie Irving.

But dreams die fast. Davis got dealt to the Lakers. Irving left for the Nets. Al Horford even left for the 76ers.

Boston settled for got its grand prize of Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter.

Celtics president Danny Ainge:

When we got done with the draft and started our preparation for free agency, as we started planning for Plan A, our Plan A was Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter.

This might be technically true, depending how you’re willing to interpret it. It’s not accurate.

The Celtics didn’t begin preparing for free agency after the draft. Those plans were being laid years in advance. They didn’t prioritize Walker and Kanter.

But if you grant that we’re talking about only Boston’s post-draft preparation, this could be true. It was already pretty apparent both Irving and Horford were exiting. Los Angeles had already traded for Davis.

Walker-to-Boston reports didn’t emerge until after the draft. He looked like the best free agent realistically available to the Celtics. Getting him would deplete their cap space. Kanter is a high-quality player for the room exception.

Even so, I’m not totally convinced Boston had given up hope immediately following the draft of the mercurial Irving re-signing. Welcoming him back to the locker room would have been complicated. But he’s more talented and younger than Walker.

So, maybe – maybe – Ainge is telling the truth on a technicality. But I’m not even sure of that, and he’s being inaccurate in a wider context, anyway.

Enes Kanter (jokingly) trolls Kyrie Irving on why Kanter will wear No. 11 with Boston

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Kyrie Irving is off to Brooklyn, which opened up the No. 11 jersey in Boston.

New Celtics center Enes Kanter will wear it, and his answer as to why is an awesome joke and troll of Irving.

You have to love the smile before he makes the joke, he has planned this out.

If you don’t get the “I want to be the reason no one else will” wear No. 11, you have to remember this Irving/Nike ad from Boston.

Well played Kanter, well played.

Report: Celtics re-signing Daniel Theis (two years, $10M), signing Vincent Poirier (minimum)

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After losing Al Horford to the 76ers and trading Aron Baynes to the Suns, the Celtics badly need bigs.

Enes Kanter is a nice start, but not enough.

Re-enter Daniel Theis and enter Vincent Poirier.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Brian Robb of Boston Sports Journal:

The Celtics will keep Theis at his low cap hold then exceed the cap to re-sign him through the Early Bird Exception. So, this won’t interfere with their cap room to land Kemba Walker.

Boston signed Theis out of Germany to a minimum contract in 2017. He developed into a solid rotation player and will get rewarded for it.

If the Celtics get the same from Poirier – a French interior-focused center – they’ll be quite pleased.

Enes Kanter says he didn’t choose Blazers because they gave him six minutes to decide

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It’s one of the oldest sales tactics in the books: “Limited time offer, if you don’t agree in the next five minutes this deal goes away.” Scarcity — real or made up — is an effective way to get some people to sign up.

Not Enes Kanter.

After a strong playoff run in Portland where Kanter played through a separated shoulder and helped the Trail Blazers to the Western Conference Finals, Portland fans and management hoped to see Kanter return. Instead, Kanter signed a two-year, $10 million contract in Boston. Portland traded for Hassan Whiteside instead to fill in minutes until Jusuf Nurkic‘s return.

Then, not long after Kanter signed with the Celtics, he sent this text to Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated.

Kanter has a reputation for liking to tell stories, and Damian Lillard responded on his Twitter account that it was more like 45 minutes.

The most likely scenario: Portland had the Miami trade for Whiteside on hold, but it was part of the larger four-team Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade, so the Trail Blazers couldn’t keep everyone waiting forever. So they gave Kanter a deadline.

Lillard also admits the key here for Kanter: 45 minutes is still not that much time to make a major life decision, such as where you’re going to live and work for a couple of years. Kanter wanted to talk to family and think it over, and in his case talking to family is a lot more complicated because of his status in his native Turkey. So Kanter pushed back on the deadline.

Portland went with the Whiteside trade, Kanter landed on his feet just fine with the Celtics.

And we learned limited time offers don’t really work on Kanter.

Enes Kanter signing with Celtics for room exception

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Kyrie Irving pledged to re-sign with the Celtics then even made a commercial about getting his No. 11 retired by Boston.

Enes Kanter:

Ian Begley of SNY:

That looks like Kanter will get the room exception, which will be worth $9,772,350 ($4,767,000 next season, $5,005,350 the following season).

I really hope Kanter wears No. 11 for the Celtics. That’d fit his trolling persona so well.

Most importantly to Boston, he helps on the court. The Celtics badly needed a starting center after losing Al Horford to the 76ers and trading Aron Baynes to the Suns.

Kanter is a talented offensive player who’ll score inside while Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward lead the attack from the perimeter. The big question: Will Kanter hold up well enough defensively?

This is a signing worth making. But with Kanter’s defensive issues, consider this another reason (behind Kyrie Irving leaving) the Celtics won’t contend for a title next year despite remaining quite good.