BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics have completed their draft night swap with the Memphis Grizzlies, and it includes sending Enes Kanter to Portland. Got it?
The Celtics traded the 30th overall pick to the Grizzlies on draft night, which Memphis used on guard Desmond Bane, but the deal was never officially announced. That’s because it has now flourished into a three-team deal that gets Kanter off the books in Boston.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Kanter lands with the Trail Blazers (whom he played during the 2018-19 season), Memphis gets Bane and Mario Hezonjia, and Boston gets a future draft pick from Memphis.
Portland is acquiring Boston's Enes Kanter in a three-way deal with Memphis, sources tell ESPN. Memphis gets Mario Hezonjia and 30th pick (Desmond Bane) from draft night deal as part of trade too. Celtics get a future Memphis draft consideration.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 20, 2020
On draft night, it was reported that the Celtics could get two future second-round picks from Memphis. They should still get those, but shedding Kanter is better, as it takes his $5 million salary off the books after the veteran center picked up his player option with Boston on Thursday.
Trading Kanter frees up a roster spot for the Celtics, and they did so without taking any salary back in the deal. Chalk it up as a win for Danny Ainge.
Celtics will get a $5 million trade exception as part of the three-team Kanter trade. They also have one worth $2.5 million for yesterday's trade of Vincent Poirier.
— Brian Robb (@BrianTRobb) November 20, 2020
This move, along with sending Vincent Poirier to the Oklahoma City Thunder, will also free up some more playing time for Robert Williams III next season — baring another move for a big man this offseason.
What a blessing to play for an organization like the @celtics ☘️
This team, this organization, the whole state made me a more complete player and a better person on & off the court.
Don’t forget to retire #11 😄
Thank you Boston 💚 pic.twitter.com/8U59LXAFA2
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) November 20, 2020
Kanter signed with the Celtics as a free agent last season, and averaged 8.1 points and 7.4 rebounds over 58 regulars-season games. He played in 11 postseason games, averaging 4.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 9.3 minutes per game. He mostly served as a big off the bench for Boston, with Daniel Theis set as Boston’s starting center.