Luke Kornet free agent price point revealed: Should Boston Celtics pay up?

Boston Celtics v Utah Jazz
Boston Celtics v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

Kristaps Porzingis's injury has opened up playoff minutes for Luke Kornet in the Boston Celtics frontcourt, and with the opportunity, the Vanderbilt product has a chance to help out his offseason free agency case exponentially.

As MassLive's Brian Robb reveals, Kornet could cost up to a mid-level exception-type salary, something the Cs can pay for given that they own his early bird rights.

"He suddenly has become the most high-profile free agent this summer after Jrue Holiday’s extension last month," Robb prefaced before saying, "Boston does have early Bird Rights at this point on him, so they will be able to pay him up to mid-level money if they decide to. He certainly won’t command close to that on the open market but the truth is he may have played himself into being more than a minimum-level player, particularly if he holds up well in these postseason minutes in the upcoming rounds."

Is Luke Kornet worth bringing back for the Boston Celtics?

Just because the Celtics could bring Kornet back, does it mean they should? There's certainly an argument to be made on both sides of the coin here.

On one hand, you can get a Kornet-level talent at the end of the first round or the second round. You may even be able to sign an undrafted free agent or find a good fit in the Summer League and the Maine Celtics G League system.

On the other hand, the Cs are limited in adding higher salaries because they are past the second tax apron in the CBA and could use such salaries to aggregate in potential future deals. Who knows? Bringing him back and paying up could bring out the best in Kornet too, to the point where a trade isn't on the radar.

You can't go wrong either way. Retaining Jrue Holiday was the most important 2024 offseason goal and it was accomplished.

Derrick White's contract is next. And it will be a far more complex question than the Kornet one.