Celtics reportedly sign Kornet, Queta to new contracts


With Kristaps Porzingis sidelined to start the 2024-25 season, the return of Kornet and Queta loom large.

Boston Celtics center Luke Kornet (40) dribbles during the fourth quarter in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. The Dallas Mavericks hosted the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Center on Friday, June 14, 2024.
Luke Kornet is expected to return to the Celtics on a one-year deal. (Danielle Parhizkaran/Globe Staff)

It didn’t take very long for the Celtics to reinforce their frontcourt for the 2024-25 season. 

Just minutes after NBA free agency officially kicked off on Sunday night, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Celtics signed backup big man Luke Kornet to a one-year contract.  

Just hours later, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Celtics also agreed to a multi-year contract with Neemias Queta. 

Both signings ahead of the primary NBA free-agency frenzy stand as a pair of proactive moves by Brad Stevens, with the Celtics in need of reinforcements up front with Kristaps Porzingis (ankle surgery) expected to be sidelined at the start of the 2024-25 season.

Even though Boston has some options up front with Al Horford expected back next season, Joe Mazzulla and the Celtics also need to monitor minutes for Horford, who turned 38 earlier this month. 

Kornet established himself as a valuable backup option for the Celtics this past season, averaging 5.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in 63 games (seven starts). The 28-year-old center provided valuable depth for Boston in 2023-24, due in large part to his 7-foot-2 frame. 

The Celtics are banking on additional development from Queta, who will turn 25 on July 13. The Portuguese product played in 28 games for Boston in 2023-24, averaging 5.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks over 11.9 minutes per game. 

Queta, who measures out at 7-foot-0 and 248 pounds, was a useful depth piece for Boston — especially when both Porzingis and Horford were ruled out of action. 

With the Celtics already above the second apron of the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement, their ability to bring in outside help via free agency is severely limited this summer.

However, Boston is set to return its full starting lineup and its primary options off the bench in 2024-25, especially with Kornet and Queta back in the fold.

Stevens and the Celtics still have some decisions to make as far as Xavier Tillman and Svi Mykhailiuk, who are both unrestricted free agents. Oshae Brissett reportedly declined his player option and will also hit free agency this offseason. 

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