BOSTON (CBS) — Luke Kornet is sticking with the Celtics for training camp, though the stretch big man will likely end up in Maine when the 2021-22 season tips off.
Kornet signed an Exhibit 10 contract with Boston on Wednesday, according to Chris Grenham, meaning he’ll be around when the team starts training camp in a few weeks. But chances are he’ll end up in the G League with Maine, giving Boston a “break glass in case of emergency” option at center should the need arise during the regular season.READ MORE: Red Sox Drop Ball Against Yankees, But Schedule Favors Them In Wild Card Race
The 7-foot-2 Kornet played in 18 games for the Celtics last season after he was acquired as part of the trade package Boston received for center Daniel Theis on deadline day. He averaged just 14 minutes when he did suit up for Boston, putting up 4.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Touted as a stretch-center, he only hit 25 percent of his three-point attempts.
But he was a solid three-point shooter when he first entered the league, hitting 36 percent of his bids from downtown in his first two NBA seasons with the New York Knicks, and is a 33 percent shooter from three-point range over his five-year career. Perhaps Brad Stevens is hoping that Kornet is able to tap into that range at some point in 2021-22.READ MORE: Bill Belichick Says He Never Wanted Tom Brady To Leave Patriots: 'We Weren't As Good An Option As Tampa'
What impressed Boston most with Kornet in his brief time with the C’s — and likely convinced Stevens to offer Kornet another shot with the franchise — was his consistency as a rim protector and his ability to muck up another team’s pick-and-roll. Kornet blocked 25 shots in his 18 games for Boston, and was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise dismal defense to close the season.
The C’s also reportedly gave power forward Juwan Morgan an Exhibit 10 deal on Wednesday, and either one of those contracts could potentially turn into a two-way deal. Boston has one more of those to offer up after locking Sam Hauser into a two-way spot earlier this offseason.MORE NEWS: Tom Brady Will (Almost Certainly) Set NFL's Passing Yards Record Vs. Patriots In Foxboro
But with Robert Williams, Al Horford, Enes Kanter, Bruno Fernando, Grant Williams and Jabari Parking already in place in the Boston front court, Kornet has an uphill battle to make the Celtics roster.