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Report: Enes Kanter picks up $5 million option with Celtics

Enes Kanter, Celtics

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter decided Thursday to exercise his $5 million player option for the 2020-21 season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Ahead of the 2019-2020 season, Kanter chose to ink a two-year, $9.7 million deal with the Celtics. The former third overall pick of the Utah Jazz joined Boston after a brief stint with the Portland Trail Blazers with the hopes that he’d be a prominent role player on a team that lacks size.

However, in his first season with the Celtics, Kanter averaged only 16.9 minutes per game, the fewest amount of minutes played since his second season with Utah. Despite having limited minutes, Kanter did perform relatively well, recording 8.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

While Kanter chose to exercise his player option, Gordon Hayward decided to opt out of his whopping $34.2 million deal to become a free agent. Hayward could still return to the Celtics, but the signs are pointing to him going elsewhere. The New York Knicks are reportedly interested, while the Indiana Pacers have also shown interest.

Boston will be fine even if Hayward walks out the door, with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart still in place to lead the way. Kanter will also try to provide what he can off the bench.