Monday, November 28, 2022

Exec reveals Celtics plans for Luke Kornet this season

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When the Boston Celtics re-signed Luke Kornet over the summer, his contract was only partially guaranteed. At the moment, Kornet has $1,066,639 of his $2,133,278 contract guaranteed for the 2022-23 season, according to Spotrac. If they choose to keep him beyond January 10th, the contract will be fully guaranteed.

An Eastern Conference executive revealed to Sean Deveney what the Celtics plan to do with Kornet when that guarantee date comes around.

“They like Luke Kornet. You have until January before it is guaranteed. I think they go ahead and guarantee him,” the manager told Deveney.

Before taking on the Dallas Mavericks, Kornet averaged 3.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and a block per game in 13 games this season while averaging 66 in 12.7 minutes per game .7 percent shot from the field. This is Kornet’s third season with the Celtics, having briefly played for them in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.

Kornet has also played for the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks since joining the NBA in 2018.

While the board believes Kornet’s place with the Celtics will be secure all season long, they didn’t share the same opinion with Noah Vonleh and Justin Jackson.

The executive revealed to Deveney that both Vonleh and Jackson are likely to be replaced midseason following the return of Robert Williams III and as teams begin buying out midseason veterans.

“Robert Williams is coming back and Vonleh is, huh, your fifth big guy? However, if they want to add something, it’s probably a grand piano. That would mean Jackson is probably out. But when we get to the buyout market, when we get to the playoffs, there’s a good chance both Jackson and Vonleh will be replaced,” the manager told Deveney.

Both Vonleh’s and Jackson’s contracts are not guaranteed. The manager also said Blake Griffin’s place on the team is expected to be secure throughout the season.

“They can’t get rid of Blake Griffin, they like his presence there, his level of experience,” the manager said.

Before the Celtics played the Mavericks, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski provided an update on Robert Williams III on the NBA Countdown.

“His agent, Kevin Bradbury, told me tonight that he expects Robert Williams to be back by Christmas,” Wojnarowski said. “That gives him another month here. He is making good progress in his rehab. This is a player who has had two surgeries in the last calendar year. You definitely want to take your time. Even without him, this is a team with the best record in the NBA.”

Even with Williams’ return imminent, Wojnarowski added that he thinks the Celtics could be looking for more frontcourt depth.

“Now for Boston I think if you look at the February deadline another center that could play minutes should Robert Williams miss the time or Al Horford, 36, is out. They try to close every hole to become a championship team. As they near the trading deadline (Boston will) see if there is more help ahead of the place from their bank.

If Williams returns by then, he will make his debut in time for the Celtics’ first matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, who they have not faced since the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

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