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Getty Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum high-fives big man Luke Kornet while exiting the court during Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

July 1, 2022 will undoubtedly go down as a banner day for the Boston Celtics in the proverbial sense — time will tell whether it yields any actual banners.

The morning began with rumblings that Danilo Gallinari could be headed to Beantown. Those were followed by a report from MassLive‘s Brian Robb that the career 16-point scorer would be joining the Celtics on a two-year pact upon his release from San Antonio.

That was followed, in short order, by what could be a trade for the ages.

As reported by Woj, the C’s turned Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan and a first-round pick into standout combo guard Malcolm Brogdon. Put another way, that’s zero core players and a pick likely to be in the 20s for a guy who logged a 19-6-5 line for the Indiana Pacers last season.

However, that wasn’t the only action from team president Brad Stevens on Friday. While the #BleedGreen crew was still catching its collective breath from Gallo and Brogdon, the C’s made an under-the-radar move to bring some size back to their second unit.

Celtics Re-Signing Luke Kornet Play
Luke Kornet Exclusive Celtics NBA Finals Interview w/ Bobby ManningSAN FRANCISCO, CA — Celtics Point Guard Payton Pritchard joins Bobby Manning to discuss his first NBA Finals experience with the Boston Celtics. Celtics fans, we know the NBA Finals can have you stressed out! So checkout the Calm app! For listeners of the show, Calm is offering an exclusive offer of 40% off a…2022-06-04T22:45:09Z

Per a report from Yahoo! Sports Chris Haynes, the Celtics and center Luke Kornet have come to terms on a two-year deal bringing the 26-year-old back to Boston. Later, Robb added that the big man would be returning for the veteran minimum.

Kornet made all of 12 regular-season appearances for the Celtics in 2021-22, averaging 2.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 7.1 minutes per game. He also saw court time in a handful of postseason contests, exclusively during garbage time.

And while that’s not much of a sample size to judge a player on, it’s clear that Kornet has intrigued the Celtics’ front office, which has done business with him on multiple occasions now.

The baller was first acquired by the club in 2021 as part of a three-way trade with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards. Stevens and Co. then brought him back last fall as an affiliate player with the G League’s Maine Celtics. After hardship tenures with the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers, Kornet found his way back to Maine, after which he was promptly retrieved by the C’s once again.

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Untapped Defensive Potential

While Kornet has, at times, shown an ability to stretch the floor with his three-point shot — he was a 36% shooter from deep over his first two seasons with the New York Knicks — his paint protection should be an asset going forward as well.

He didn’t do much as a shot-blocker in ’21-22, but he finished second on the team with a block rate of 9.2% during ’20-21, as tracked by Basketball Reference. Meanwhile, the Celtics held their opponents to just 101.7 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor that year.

As a member of the Knicks, Kornet blocked six shots during an April 2019 bout with the Chicago Bulls.

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News Source: Heavy.com

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NBA Insider Throws Shade at Toughness of Lakers $190 Million Star

Getty Anthony Davis (right) of the Lakers

It’s encouraging to know that, in his three seasons since arriving in Los Angeles from New Orleans in one of the NBA’s biggest-ever trades, Anthony Davis’ Lakers have gone 86-52, a .628 winning percentage. Problem is, L.A. has played 87 games without him in the past three years, and posted a winning percentage of .472.

That’s not encouraging when taking an honest look at the team’s future. In fact, Heavy Sports’ NBA insider Steve Bulpett says, this is really nothing new for Davis.

Back when Bulpett covered the Celtics for the Boston Herald, he talked with a Pelicans official about Davis’ durability (the Celtics were pushing to trade for him), and there were red flags aplenty. First on the list: Davis was a bit soft.

“Someone with New Orleans told me, when the Celtics were in the hunt for Anthony Davis heavily, he said you’d better make sure that Marcus Smart is not included in that deal because you’re going to need someone tough to stand next to Anthony Davis,” Bulpett said in a video interview. “No. 2, he told me he had never, ever seen a player take that many trips to the trainer’s room. Now, we’re not talking about a serious injury and a guy being stupid and making himself even more hurt, but just that the people around him will tell you, he goes to the trainer’s room for the slightest issue. A hangnail, that can be a problem.”

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VideoVideo related to nba insider throws shade at toughness of lakers $190 million star2022-08-12T16:12:05-04:00

 

Lakers Sent Out a Mega-Package for Davis

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Davis did help the Lakers to the 2020 NBA championship in the Orlando bubble, and was excellent that season with averages of 26.1 points and 9.3 rebounds. The Lakers had given up a slew of players to get him, working a deal with New Orleans that saw star forward Brandon Ingram and guard Lonzo Ball join Josh Hart and the recently drafted De’Andre Hunter.

The Lakers also gave up a first-round pick this year, as well as in 2024 or 2025, plus a pick swap in 2023.

It can be argued that the championship made the trade worth it, but it was a lot of capital that the Lakers gave up. Davis is only 29 but he has seen a dip in his numbers the last two seasons, and averaged 23.2 points this season after notching 21.8 last year. He signed a $190 million contract with the Lakers in 2020.

Can the Lakers Count on Anthony Davis?

What does seem clear is that the Lakers can’t necessarily count on Davis as a future cornerstone the way they thought they could when they made the deal in 2019—he was to be the successor to LeBron James, the franchise passed from one superstar to the next. His health, though, has made that increasingly unlikely, and there is some consternation within the Lakers organization about how the franchise should move forward if Davis continues to struggle with bumps and bruises.

As one Western Conference executive told Heavy recently: “There are some in that organization who would not mind seeing what they can bring back for AD, but they would not do it with LeBron there. You get to 2024, though, and maybe things change. …  Davis can be a free agent then, too, so he could look to sign elsewhere or he could opt in for 2024-25 and be traded. A lot of players want to push their free agency to 2025 because that is when the new TV should come in.

“The Lakers have AD for two more years for sure, and they can only hope he stays healthy. But after that, they have to think, is this guy really our future? He can’t stay on the floor. And he has to think, do I want to be here without LeBron? That’s why the Lakers do not want to give up those future picks (in a trade).”

 

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