With the Celtics reportedly set to lock up Kemba Walker once NBA free agency kicks off on Sunday, the team’s attention turns to the frontcourt. It had been reported Boston was interested in Enes Kanter, and it appears the C’s are looking at signing either the former Trail Blazers big man or Kevon Looney with the team’s $4.8 million room exception they would obtain once they free up cap space for Walker, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Kanter was waived by the Knicks in February and finished the season in Portland. He put together a solid year, averaging 13.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per night while shooting 54.9 percent from the field and 78.7 percent from the line. Kanter’s lack of an outside shot has led to spacing issues — particularly in the playoffs — wherever he’s been over the last couple of years, though he’s also been a threat for giant double-double lines in big games.
The 6-foot-11 center has also had more than his fair share of defensive issues over the years. His impressive contributions on offense are balanced out by his habit of becoming a pick and roll liability with some frequency.
Meanwhile, the Warriors will likely try to re-sign Looney, who had to play major minutes in Golden State over the last two years, especially in the playoffs. Looney’s raw numbers aren’t nearly as high as Kanter’s — 6.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season, 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in the playoffs — but he brings significantly more on the defensive end with his length versatility.
Looney was one of the more unheralded members of a Warriors team loaded with superstars, but he became a key depth player that could benefit from a bigger role on a team without so many All-NBA talents.
Whether either guy would be willing to take the room exception — Kanter made over $18 million last season but probably won’t get near that type of money this summer, while Looney could re-sign in Golden State if they choose to make room for him — remains to be seen, but the Celtics are interested, and they need the help.
Full article @ NBA Free Agency: Celtics reportedly looking to use MLE on Enes Kanter or Kevon Looney
Source: GreenStreet Blog