The Boston Celtics have a few means of improvement this offseason. The NBA Draft has come and gone, but they still have free agency and the trade market. Their taxpayer MLE (worth roughly $6.3 million) and a multitude of TPEs should come in handy.
While the MLE could help them snag a depth piece, the $17.1 million TPE that they received when Evan Fournier joined the New York Knicks could be their best pathway to improvement. And according to a recent article, they could use it to add some sharpshooting.
Keith Smith of CelticsBlog put out a list of 25 players the Celtics could potentially target using their TPE. Among them was LA Clippers sharpshooter Luke Kennard. He noted Kennard’s shooting as the primary reason for Boston’s interest.
“There’s some question as to just how available Kennard is. Some say he’s very much on the trade market, while others say he’s not available at all. He’d fill the need for shooting, but he’s strictly a two. So, the need for another wing might still exist if the Celtics traded for Kennard,” Smith wrote.
As noted, it’s uncertain whether or not Kennard will be available in trades this summer, but if he is, the Celtics could definitely take an interest. In fact, it was recently reported that Boston inquired about a potential Kennard trade.
Celtics Asked About Kennard Trade
On June 22, Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reported that the Clippers were shopping Kennard ahead of the draft. He also noted that LA would look to deal him in the month following if they failed to trade him at the draft (which they did).
“According to sources around the league, L.A. is shopping Kennard ahead of Thursday’s NBA draft, and will look to move him next month if no deal can be reached,” Deveney reported.
In addition, Adam Kaufman of the Celtics Beat podcast tweeted out that there were some rumblings that Boston had taken an interest in Kennard. He did not report the rumor himself, but had seen it floating around ahead of the draft.
Kennard is an elite three-point shooter and even has a connection to the Celtics.
Kennard’s Connection to Celtics
While Kennard never played for the Celtics, he does have a connection. He was Jayson Tatum’s teammate at Duke and actually led that Blue Devils team in scoring. Bringing in a former teammate of Tatum would definitely be a fun storyline.
Kennard has found some decent success in the NBA, too. This past season, he averaged 11.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists on 44.9% shooting from the field and 44.9% shooting from three-point land. He attempted 6.0 threes per game.
The 6’5 shooting guard may not bring much of anything on the defensive end, but his 42.5% career three-point percentage would give Boston a huge boost in that department.
Obviously, the Celtics’ defensive system requires players to compete on that side of the ball but having a shooting specialist of Kennard’s caliber on the roster would be a useful tool.