Luke Kornet makes telling statement about Boston Celtics trade deadline big man addition

Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets
Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Luke Kornet let down a lot of Boston Celtics fans who were hoping to see trade deadline addition Xavier Tillman replace him in Joe Mazzulla's frontcourt rotation following the C's 129-112 victory over the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.

“To be honest, I am not really concerned about (Tillman creating a backup big man competition) at all,” Kornet said in the locker room postgame on February 22 (h/t MassLive). “We’re excited to have Xavier here and I think he adds a piece that’s great for us, especially having the versatility in the playoffs and stuff I think is really important. We’re happy to have him and excited to have him as a teammate. I like the element he brings to our team.

“He’s going to fit right in with us and the type of group that we have. It was nice to have his first chance of playing today because obviously he didn’t have the opportunity. Looking forward to seeing him play more and more. That’s kind of being able to have that added element to the team.”

Kornet played 11 more minutes than Tillman, who only saw the floor during garbage time during his Celtics debut, and went for 10 points, four rebounds, and two assists in his 11 minutes as the third big off the bench. Tillman is going to be worked slowly into the rotation, but it's possible he never does usurp Kornet; who may be a bit player himself come playoff time.

Boston Celtics will win or lose title based on play of starting five and Al Horford

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kristaps Porzingis will be the primary drivers of this upcoming postseason run in whatever direction it goes. That statement will be true some nights for Derrick White, Jrue Holiday, and Al Horford.

Other than the occasional Payton Pritchard/Sam Hauser shooting streak/slump, the Celtics' top six will be what determines whether the TD Garden will have Banner 18 hanging from the rafters in the Fall.

Where Kornet and Tillman factor into all of this is unclear. But Kornet certainly doesn't feel threatened. Or, he's just a damn good teammate with the perfect attitude for a championship hopeful.