2. Luke Kornet
Kornet is the Celtics' third big man behind Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford. It is a crucial role given KP’s injury history and Horford’s age. Porzingis has played more than 60 games in just one season since 2017, and he suffered a knee injury during the bubble playoffs in 2020. Horford is 37 and cannot be relied upon for 38 minutes per game anymore.
Kornet has played well when his number is called. He is averaging 5.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.0 block in 15.1 minutes per game this season. The 28-year-old has never played more than 17.0 minutes each night for an entire season, and there are worries about his playoff impact. Can the 7’2 big man stay on the floor and protect the rim as teams attack him?
Luke Kornet is on a $2.4 million expiring contract, which could become a key salary-matcher in the right deal. If Boston makes a play for someone like Royce O’Neale, they could need Kornet’s salary to get it over the line. The Celtics would need a third big man if Kornet is traded, but that may be an avenue to explore if they can get a considerable upgrade.
Luke Kornet is not the most likely Celtic to be traded, but it could happen in the right deal.