Mfiondu Kabengele, 2-way player

benhogan

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The basics on Mfiondu Kabengele:

turning 25 this month
Draft Combine measurements: 6'10.25" - 256lbs - 7'3" wingspan - 9'1.5" standing reach
Drafted 1st round - 27th in 2019
Played 2yrs at Fla State (shot 37.4% from 3 on 91 attempts & 72.4% on FTs)
Played deep bench minutes with the Clippers & Cavs. Played well in the G-League the last 2 seasons (shot 80% on FTs)

https://stats.gleague.nba.com/player/1629662/

https://www.nbadraft.net/2019-nba-draft-combine-measurements/

https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/k/kabenmf01.html

Keith Smith's take
Mfiondu Kabengele: Kabengele was someone Celtics fans were really excited about, and he delivered. Enough so that Boston signed Kabengele to their second Two-Way spot. And that feels about right for where the big man is at.

Kabengele isn’t really a center, but he can sort of hold his own there. He’s much more of a stretch-4 right now. And that’s just fine. Kabengele showed a nice inside-outside combo on offense. He’s got good touch on his jumper. He’s a solid finisher, but needs a bit more craft inside. If it’s not a catch and go straight up play, Kabengele gets himself in trouble a bit around the rim.

On defense, he’s a solid rebounder. The bigger bigs were able to muscle Kabengele inside at times. He’s a good athlete with good length, so recovering for blocks was a skill, but that’s not something you can rely on in the NBA. Something else to watch? Possibly because of his lack of bulk, Kabengele is a foul machine. He averaged 4.4 fouls per game in 24.5 minutes in Vegas. That needs to get cleaned up.

Kabengele should do well in Maine, and that will earn him call-ups if a regular Boston big is unavailable. But he’s not quite ready to hold down a true backup spot yet. So, the Celtics will probably find a veteran big man, while Kabengele continues to hone his game in Maine.


Pre-draft write up
NBA Comparison: Vin Baker
Strengths: At 6’10’’, 250 pounds, he possesses a body that NBA teams covet … Led the Seminoles in scoring (13.2 ppg) this past season despite coming off the bench and playing just 21.6 minutes per game … Takes advantage of his limited playing time and dominates both ends of the floor … Extremely long with a 7’3 wingspan … Crashes the offensive glass (2.1 offensive rebounds per game) … Is a factor as a shotblocker, evidenced by his 56 total blocks on the year … Dominates the rim against smaller frontlines … Versatile offensive player … Shoots well from three-point range (37%) for a player of his size … 76% FT shooter reinforces the idea that he can become a solid outside shooter at the next level … Finishes well in the paint and sticks with guards on the perimeter defensively … Climbed up the draft boards after averaging 21.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in Florida State’s first two NCAA tournament games against Vermont and Murray State, shooting 64% from the field … Was a defensive menace in the ACC tournament, recording 2.7 blocks per game against Virginia Tech, Virginia and Duke …

Weaknesses: Lacks in many aspects of decision making, specifically as a passer… Averaged just 0.3 assists per game on the season … Not incredibly quick … Moves a bit gingerly and wears big knee pads which give the appearance that his knees are not extremely strong … Has to improve his ball-handling skills … Is very foul prone, fouling nearly three times per game in limited playing time … Developing the ability to consistently knock down jump shots is one of the main areas he needs to improve in … Is a redshirt sophomore and already the age of a junior …

Outlook: His stock has been boosted tremendously this March … Projected as a late first round or early second round pick after being one of the biggest risers in this year’s NCAA tournament … Possesses the size, athleticism and a clear skill-set that is desired by NBA teams … Could use an additional season at Florida State

Notes: Has great bloodlines. His mother is the sister of all time great center Dikembe Mutombo … Possesses a 7’3 wingpsan … From Burlington, Ontario … As a sophomore at FSU, Kabengele ranked in the top ten in both rebounds and blocks per game in the ACC … Named ACC Sixth Man of the Year … In one of his most impressive games of the season, he stuffed the box score with 24 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and two steals on January 12th against Duke
 

PRabbit

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His write up sounds like a slightly bigger Theis with upside, which is great if he ends up the 3rd big.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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From Himmelsbach at the Glob:

Kabengele was the biggest winner in Las Vegas. Soon after the loss to the Nets in the finale Saturday night, the big man was signed to a two-way contract. Kabengele, the 27th pick of the 2019 draft, played a total 51 games over two years with the Clippers and Cavaliers before spending last season in the G League. He was beaming Saturday night as he talked about this fresh opportunity.
“I showed them my heart, my energy, my tenacity,” he said.
In Las Vegas, Kabengele averaged 14.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.2 blocks while making 58.7 percent of his shots and 40 percent of his 3-pointers.“[Kabengele] grew in a lot of areas,” Sullivan said. “We were really trying to work on defending without fouling, verticality, stuff around the rim. And, being a ball mover a little bit on offense and understanding time and score situations, when to roll, when to pop. I thought for the most part he was really good.”
Kabengele, who could still contend for a regular roster spot, said he was eager to get to Boston to start training and to get a cannoli at Mike’s Pastry, eight years after Boston College’s coaches brought him there during a recruiting visit.
It's amazing to me that a guy with his measurables, who can clearly block shots, and who hits 40% of 3Ps, can't get regular playing time in the NBA. Which is the difference between the NBA and all other leagues as I would imagine Kabengele would be an all-star in every other league in the world.
 

RG33

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I feel like the “Dikembe Mutombo’s nephew” angle needs to be played up a bit more. That is the first I have heard that. I’m excited purely by this.
 

jmcc5400

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I mentioned it in the Summer League thread I think, but he really bears a striking facial resemblance to Dikembe.
 

sezwho

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His write up sounds like a slightly bigger Theis with upside, which is great if he ends up the 3rd big.
Both Al and Rob averaged ~29mpg last year with Theis just under 19. Whoever the third big is, he’s going to play a ton so better be ready.

Kornet is tall and probably very nice, but was barely ahead of Fall on the depth chart at one point and played 2mpg in the playoffs in spite of the need.
 

Euclis20

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Both Al and Rob averaged ~29mpg last year with Theis just under 19. Whoever the third big is, he’s going to play a ton so better be ready.

Kornet is tall and probably very nice, but was barely ahead of Fall on the depth chart at one point and played 2mpg in the playoffs in spite of the need.
This is an understatement. I think there's a tendency by some people to think that since Theis played sparingly in the playoffs and barely got off the bench in the finals that he won't be missed, but Horford and TL played a combined 130 regular season games last year - I'd sign up for that again, but it means they miss about 30 games between them, plus neither guy should play 30 mpg in the regular season. A 3rd center is a pretty glaring need right now (especially if we're going to continue starting 2 bigs), and I don't see Kornet as that guy. Maybe Kabengele can push him, but I'm not optimistic.
 

Jimbodandy

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This is an understatement. I think there's a tendency by some people to think that since Theis played sparingly in the playoffs and barely got off the bench in the finals that he won't be missed, but Horford and TL played a combined 130 regular season games last year - I'd sign up for that again, but it means they miss about 30 games between them, plus neither guy should play 30 mpg in the regular season. A 3rd center is a pretty glaring need right now (especially if we're going to continue starting 2 bigs), and I don't see Kornet as that guy. Maybe Kabengele can push him, but I'm not optimistic.
Do we know if the limit on how long 2-ways can stay on the big club is back in effect? I know that it was tabled during peak covid.

If the limit is still in effect, then I think that we could view Cabin Jelly as emergency big mostly. Rob or Al go down for 2+ weeks, he comes up. If the limit is not in place, then great--he can come up any time either gets hurt for even a couple of games.

Of course in the event of a catastrophic injury, they can convert him and bring in someone via trade or whatever.

I'd be surprised if Brad or Ime see a future where either Kornet or Kabengele are getting 19mpg on the regular. Theis was way more plug and play. We can dream of the latter getting to Theis level, but it's not a given and he's not there now.
 

pjheff

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I feel like the “Dikembe Mutombo’s nephew” angle needs to be played up a bit more. That is the first I have heard that. I’m excited purely by this.
Who wants to sex Kabengele?
 

Cesar Crespo

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Do we know if the limit on how long 2-ways can stay on the big club is back in effect? I know that it was tabled during peak covid.

If the limit is still in effect, then I think that we could view Cabin Jelly as emergency big mostly. Rob or Al go down for 2+ weeks, he comes up. If the limit is not in place, then great--he can come up any time either gets hurt for even a couple of games.

Of course in the event of a catastrophic injury, they can convert him and bring in someone via trade or whatever.

I'd be surprised if Brad or Ime see a future where either Kornet or Kabengele are getting 19mpg on the regular. Theis was way more plug and play. We can dream of the latter getting to Theis level, but it's not a given and he's not there now.
I don't know if it's in effect, but if it is they could just sign Kabengele to an NBA deal. If he's pushing the time limit anyway, he's probably earned it.
 

benhogan

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Do we know if the limit on how long 2-ways can stay on the big club is back in effect? I know that it was tabled during peak covid.

If the limit is still in effect, then I think that we could view Cabin Jelly as emergency big mostly. Rob or Al go down for 2+ weeks, he comes up. If the limit is not in place, then great--he can come up any time either gets hurt for even a couple of games.

Of course in the event of a catastrophic injury, they can convert him and bring in someone via trade or whatever.

I'd be surprised if Brad or Ime see a future where either Kornet or Kabengele are getting 19mpg on the regular. Theis was way more plug and play. We can dream of the latter getting to Theis level, but it's not a given and he's not there now.
You're right they continued with the two-way limit to 50 NBA games after COVID season (it's as if NBA teams have 17-man roster). They should just keep it @50 since it's better than all those silly 10-day contracts of the past. An announcement from the NBA could be coming soon

I'd be shocked if Brad didn't add an experienced 3rd string BIG by opening night. Kornet feels like a break glass in case of emergency Center, fully expect Brad to continue with his Luke happy talk until he adds that exp. 5
 

Cellar-Door

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You're right they continued with the two-way limit to 50 NBA games after COVID season (it's as if NBA teams have 17-man roster). I wouldn't be shocked if they just kept it @50 since it's better than all those silly 10-day contracts of the past. An announcement from the NBA should be coming soon

I'd be shocked if Brad didn't add an experienced 3rd string BIG by opening night. Kornet feels like a break glass in case of emergency Center, fully expect Brad to continue with his Luke happy talk until he adds that exp. 5
Also 2 ways can't play in the post-season. So if he becomes our 3rd big he'd get a roster spot.
 

benhogan

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Also 2 ways can't play in the post-season. So if he becomes our 3rd big he'd get a roster spot.
I'm a hair surprised with PHX retaining Ayton and Utah in blow-up mode that Hassan Whiteside has not signed anywhere. Who else needs a veteran bench center besides Boston?
 

Cellar-Door

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I'm a hair surprised with PHX retaining Ayton and Utah in blow-up mode that Hassan Whiteside has not signed anywhere. Who else needs a veteran bench center besides Boston?
I think he's waiting out the Mitchell and Durant trades, either could open up big minutes somewhere. Also, he might get S&T by the Jazz as part of a complex simultaneous trade deal.
No real reason to jump on 5-10 MPG in Boston at the minimum, he can get that a lot of places
 

Euclis20

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I think he's waiting out the Mitchell and Durant trades, either could open up big minutes somewhere. Also, he might get S&T by the Jazz as part of a complex simultaneous trade deal.
No real reason to jump on 5-10 MPG in Boston at the minimum, he can get that a lot of places
Whiteside played fewer mpg each of the last two years (17.9 in 2022 and 15.2 in 2021) than Theis did last year in Boston (18.7). He's not getting a starting job anywhere, and given the age and durability of the two guys in front of him, Boston is as good a chance as any for him to get real playing time (especially if he wants to play for a contender). Unless you think he'd be behind Kornet for the 3rd center spot.
 

Cellar-Door

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Whiteside played fewer mpg each of the last two years (17.9 in 2022 and 15.2 in 2021) than Theis did last year in Boston (18.7). He's not getting a starting job anywhere, and given the age and durability of the two guys in front of him, Boston is as good a chance as any for him to get real playing time (especially if he wants to play for a contender). Unless you think he'd be behind Kornet for the 3rd center spot.
I think if I were his agent and I was looking for minutes I'd see a team that isn't going to play my guy much when healthy, and when not will likely go small more than they play my guy. Same reason Bryant went to the Lakers.

Edit- Theis played a bunch late season with TL out, and a much shallower team. Here is what he played when TL was healthy:
DNP
DNP
19 (no TL)
15 (no TL)
5
DNP
15 (no Horford)
DNP
13
10
4
11
DNP
11
22
12
19 (no TL)
17
17 (no Horford)

yeah... that's not great, even if you pull the first 2 DNP after the trade, we're talking like 10 MPG with 3 DNP in 17 games. and that's with TL or Horford missing 5 of 17 outright.... this team does not have the consistent minutes a good backup big wants unless someone (and it basically has to be TL, because TL and Whiteside can't play together) has a major injury.
 
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JakeRae

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You're right they continued with the two-way limit to 50 NBA games after COVID season (it's as if NBA teams have 17-man roster). They should just keep it @50 since it's better than all those silly 10-day contracts of the past. An announcement from the NBA could be coming soon

I'd be shocked if Brad didn't add an experienced 3rd string BIG by opening night. Kornet feels like a break glass in case of emergency Center, fully expect Brad to continue with his Luke happy talk until he adds that exp. 5
The Celtics played most of the season with Kanter as a third 5. He played about 12 mpg in the 35 games he got minutes in. I doubt they are too concerned about going into the season with Kornet in that role and the flexibility to add a 5 mid-season should doing so prove necessary. I’m sure they’d prefer to have someone like Theis on the bench, but if they don’t have that option, they should be fine.
 

HomeRunBaker

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It's amazing to me that a guy with his measurables, who can clearly block shots, and who hits 40% of 3Ps, can't get regular playing time in the NBA. Which is the difference between the NBA and all other leagues as I would imagine Kabengele would be an all-star in every other league in the world.
I think I posted it in the SL thread but Kabengele couldn’t stay on the floor in the ACC due to his propensity to foul and his lack of fundamental decision making with the ball. Like we’ve been saying about Davison, SL slows the game down so that helped him as well but he’s gonna take some time. Gotta love the athletic upside if he ever learns how to play the game though (similar to JD).
 

benhogan

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The Celtics played most of the season with Kanter as a third 5. He played about 12 mpg in the 35 games he got minutes in. I doubt they are too concerned about going into the season with Kornet in that role and the flexibility to add a 5 mid-season should doing so prove necessary. I’m sure they’d prefer to have someone like Theis on the bench, but if they don’t have that option, they should be fine.
Sure Brad could wait. BUT if Luke Kornet plays 12mpg for 35 games those will be an interesting 400 minutes.

I think I posted it in the SL thread but Kabengele couldn’t stay on the floor in the ACC due to his propensity to foul and his lack of fundamental decision making with the ball. Like we’ve been saying about Davison, SL slows the game down so that helped him as well but he’s gonna take some time. Gotta love the athletic upside if he ever learns how to play the game though (similar to JD).
He's been a foul machine at every level, even in SL this summer. That was the book on a 25yr old Daniel Theis his first two years here. Ben Sullivan mentioned that was something they were working on with him
 

Euclis20

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I think if I were his agent and I was looking for minutes I'd see a team that isn't going to play my guy much when healthy, and when not will likely go small more than they play my guy. Same reason Bryant went to the Lakers.

Edit- Theis played a bunch late season with TL out, and a much shallower team. Here is what he played when TL was healthy:
DNP
DNP
19 (no TL)
15 (no TL)
5
DNP
15 (no Horford)
DNP
13
10
4
11
DNP
11
22
12
19 (no TL)
17
17 (no Horford)

yeah... that's not great, even if you pull the first 2 DNP after the trade, we're talking like 10 MPG with 3 DNP in 17 games. and that's with TL or Horford missing 5 of 17 outright.... this team does not have the consistent minutes a good backup big wants unless someone (and it basically has to be TL, because TL and Whiteside can't play together) has a major injury.
Regarding Bryant, ideally yeah Whiteside would do something like that and go somewhere that he has a better chance for more PT. However, everybody knows that Bryant is 9(!) years younger than Whiteside and injuries aside, is already a better player. They are fighting for similar roles (backup center), but they are not really comparable in value at this point in their careers. Whiteside is unlikely to get a chance to contend for a starting role for a team that is somehow 7th most likely to win next year's title.

Theis getting more playing time when TL was out is kind of the whole point - Rob Williams and Al Horford missed 34 games combined last year. This wasn't a fluke, I'd argue that that number of missed games is on the lower end of what was expected from them at the start of the year. The third center (be it Whiteside or whomever) will get plenty of time when these guys are out, and even if Al and Rob stay healthy the entire year, I imagine the Celtics are targeting plenty of rest days for those two and there will still likely be 15-20 games where at least one guy sits, creating plenty of time for a 3rd true big. Theis even got 22 mpg in the Nets series because Rob was hurt - this isn't a fluke, there will be plenty of PT for a third center, maybe even (god forbid) in the playoffs.
 

Cellar-Door

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Regarding Bryant, ideally yeah Whiteside would do something like that and go somewhere that he has a better chance for more PT. However, everybody knows that Bryant is 9(!) years younger than Whiteside and injuries aside, is already a better player. They are fighting for similar roles (backup center), but they are not really comparable in value at this point in their careers. Whiteside is unlikely to get a chance to contend for a starting role for a team that is somehow 7th most likely to win next year's title.

Theis getting more playing time when TL was out is kind of the whole point - Rob Williams and Al Horford missed 34 games combined last year. This wasn't a fluke, I'd argue that that number of missed games is on the lower end of what was expected from them at the start of the y ear. The third center (be it Whiteside or whomever) will get plenty of time when these guys are out, and even if Al and Rob stay healthy the entire year, I imagine the Celtics are targeting plenty of rest days for those two and there will still likely be 15-20 games where at least one guy sits, creating plenty of time for a 3rd true big. Theis even got 22 mpg in the Nets series because Rob was hurt - this isn't a fluke, there will be plenty of PT for a third center, maybe even (god forbid) in the playoffs.
I mean, I just listed a stretch where guys were missing basically 1 in every 3 games... Theis still only got 10 MPG and a bunch of DNPs, and that was with a shallower guard/wing/swing pool that meant there was less incentive to go small.

Maybe Whiteside changes his mind, but the Celtics are not all that attractive if you are a C who wants to play minutes, which at least last year, Whiteside definitely was a guy who was looking to play not ring-chase.
And since the only option BOS has is the minimum, there is no real incentive to go to BOS until you've evaluated all the options. I know a few of the national people have talked about this too (I think O'Connor and Vernon was the most recent)... there just is not a clear path to real consistent minutes as a 10th man in BOS (even less if you aren't a stretch big), and so they'll get either guys who have no other options, or guys who don't mind sitting on the bench doing nothing for long stretches of the season.

The Celtics have some injury concerns at C.... everyone does, but if you're a big you know you're fighting for minutes with.... TL, Al, Gallo, Grant... plus Tatum in small lineups. That's a deep big group for a team whose coach ran a tight rotation last year. If I'm an agent and my client isn't a stretch 5, unless he's looking for a ring and doesn't care if he plays (see LaMarcus Aldridge or something) then BOS isn't high on the list.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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He's been a foul machine at every level, even in SL this summer. That was the book on a 25yr old Daniel Theis his first two years here. Ben Sullivan mentioned that was something they were working on with him
While Kabengele averaged 4.4 fouls in the 24.5 minutes he played in 5 summer league games, I'll note that in the last G-League season, he averaged only 3.3 fouls per game (29.0 minutes; 25 games), down from 3.7 fouls per game (31.2 minutes; 27 games) in the 2020-21 season. In the 2021-22 playoffs, Kabengele played 4 games, averaged 30.0 minutes, and averaged only 2.5 fouls in that time.

These numbers, however, are probably due to the dearth of other decent big men in the G-League.

Side note: just saw that old friend Gerald Green is now a G-League champion as well playing alongside Kabengele. He must love basketball to be coming off the bench in the G-League after making over $25M (that's just NBA and doesn't include overseas contracts).
 

Euclis20

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I mean, I just listed a stretch where guys were missing basically 1 in every 3 games... Theis still only got 10 MPG and a bunch of DNPs, and that was with a shallower guard/wing/swing pool that meant there was less incentive to go small.

Maybe Whiteside changes his mind, but the Celtics are not all that attractive if you are a C who wants to play minutes, which at least last year, Whiteside definitely was a guy who was looking to play not ring-chase.
And since the only option BOS has is the minimum, there is no real incentive to go to BOS until you've evaluated all the options. I know a few of the national people have talked about this too (I think O'Connor and Vernon was the most recent)... there just is not a clear path to real consistent minutes as a 10th man in BOS (even less if you aren't a stretch big), and so they'll get either guys who have no other options, or guys who don't mind sitting on the bench doing nothing for long stretches of the season.

The Celtics have some injury concerns at C.... everyone does, but if you're a big you know you're fighting for minutes with.... TL, Al, Gallo, Grant... plus Tatum in small lineups. That's a deep big group for a team whose coach ran a tight rotation last year. If I'm an agent and my client isn't a stretch 5, unless he's looking for a ring and doesn't care if he plays (see LaMarcus Aldridge or something) then BOS isn't high on the list.
The elephant in the room is how willing Boston is to go small. Swapping Theis for Brogdon makes playing with just one of TL/Horford seem even more appealing, although from all accounts Brogdon will come off the bench and Boston will keep the same starting lineup as last year. I'd rather go small and give extra minutes to Gallo/Grant (both of whom are likely to be better than anyone still available as a 3rd center) than to someone like Whiteside, but I still think there's going to be plenty of time available for that last big. At this point the money might be a bigger issue.
 

Auger34

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I mean, I just listed a stretch where guys were missing basically 1 in every 3 games... Theis still only got 10 MPG and a bunch of DNPs, and that was with a shallower guard/wing/swing pool that meant there was less incentive to go small.

Maybe Whiteside changes his mind, but the Celtics are not all that attractive if you are a C who wants to play minutes, which at least last year, Whiteside definitely was a guy who was looking to play not ring-chase.
And since the only option BOS has is the minimum, there is no real incentive to go to BOS until you've evaluated all the options. I know a few of the national people have talked about this too (I think O'Connor and Vernon was the most recent)... there just is not a clear path to real consistent minutes as a 10th man in BOS (even less if you aren't a stretch big), and so they'll get either guys who have no other options, or guys who don't mind sitting on the bench doing nothing for long stretches of the season.

The Celtics have some injury concerns at C.... everyone does, but if you're a big you know you're fighting for minutes with.... TL, Al, Gallo, Grant... plus Tatum in small lineups. That's a deep big group for a team whose coach ran a tight rotation last year. If I'm an agent and my client isn't a stretch 5, unless he's looking for a ring and doesn't care if he plays (see LaMarcus Aldridge or something) then BOS isn't high on the list.
None of the people you listed are true centers. If you’re a big like Whiteside, I understand waiting out trades just because you never know, but I highly doubt that there will be a more attractive option out there than Boston.

I would think that Boston would want another true big man (better than Kornet and Cabin Jelly) to come in and be able to weather the punishment and pounding from other centers. As we saw in the Milwaukee series with Grant guarding Giannis, taking a beating like that night in and night out can cause injury or have lasting effects.

I am still on board with a Pritchard for Naz Reid trade. They’re both 10th men but I think Reid would be a better fit for the current roster and provide more insurance than PP would
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The elephant in the room is how willing Boston is to go small. Swapping Theis for Brogdon makes playing with just one of TL/Horford seem even more appealing, although from all accounts Brogdon will come off the bench and Boston will keep the same starting lineup as last year. I'd rather go small and give extra minutes to Gallo/Grant (both of whom are likely to be better than anyone still available as a 3rd center) than to someone like Whiteside, but I still think there's going to be plenty of time available for that last big. At this point the money might be a bigger issue.
This all tracks and completely agreed that there is plenty of time to address the need for a spare big. Its late July so its understandable why but it really feels like we collectively are overweighting the importance of this roster spot versus how the team is approaching it. There are always spare bigs available near the side of the road if the C's needs change.
 

Euclis20

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This all tracks and completely agreed that there is plenty of time to address the need for a spare big. Its late July so its understandable why but it really feels like we collectively are overweighting the importance of this roster spot versus how the team is approaching it. There are always spare bigs available near the side of the road if the C's needs change.
Agreed that these types of guys are always available, but (and this is an odd thing to say about a title contender) sooner is better than later. A 3rd big may have more value in the regular season for us, allowing TL and Horford more days off and fewer minutes. I'm not sure there is a guy out there now that we'd want playing meaningful minutes in the playoffs, the benefit is keeping the other guys fresh for the spring.
 

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The elephant in the room is how willing Boston is to go small. Swapping Theis for Brogdon makes playing with just one of TL/Horford seem even more appealing, although from all accounts Brogdon will come off the bench and Boston will keep the same starting lineup as last year. I'd rather go small and give extra minutes to Gallo/Grant (both of whom are likely to be better than anyone still available as a 3rd center) than to someone like Whiteside, but I still think there's going to be plenty of time available for that last big. At this point the money might be a bigger issue.
It would be malpractice if they don't go a little smaller next year given the roster. As much as we can bemoan the big depth last year, the wing and guard depth really wasn’t any better. Not so much that they had great flexibility.

This year they have White from day 1 plus Brodgon. Gallo is a stretch and will get real minutes.
 

JakeRae

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Sure Brad could wait. BUT if Luke Kornet plays 12mpg for 35 games those will be an interesting 400 minutes.
Kornet has proven he’s capable of playing 10mpg or so as necessary as a backup big in the league. He’s also clearly a player Brad likes and one that advanced metrics do too (like in this case meaning view as close to average—although I suspect he’s not actually that good since his usage has been so limited). We shouldn’t need any minutes from him when at full health as I expect Ime to keep doing what he did in the playoffs in terms of starting Horford and Timelord but then rarely playing them together after the first 4 minutes of each half. On days one of them sits, Kornet will be able to adequately fill in any minutes we need to plug with a 5.

Ultimately, last season Theis and Kanter combined played fewer than 800 minutes. That’s just not that important. Romeo played almost that many minutes, and Nesmith played almost 600. Not every player who gets regular season minutes needs to be above average. It’s ok if we have a bench role filled by a competent but not particularly good player.
 

Cellar-Door

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None of the people you listed are true centers. If you’re a big like Whiteside, I understand waiting out trades just because you never know, but I highly doubt that there will be a more attractive option out there than Boston.

I would think that Boston would want another true big man (better than Kornet and Cabin Jelly) to come in and be able to weather the punishment and pounding from other centers. As we saw in the Milwaukee series with Grant guarding Giannis, taking a beating like that night in and night out can cause injury or have lasting effects.

I am still on board with a Pritchard for Naz Reid trade. They’re both 10th men but I think Reid would be a better fit for the current roster and provide more insurance than PP would
TL and Horford are centers, even if Al likes the 4 ( I know he's a C because he's who we play on good opposing Cs like Embiid). If Ime looks at his roster and says "well TL is out, time to play my 11th man instead of Gallo or Brogdan with Al at the 5" in any big game he's crazy. And we know he's not because last year when he had Kanter he barely played him, and Theis played a small number of minutes until TL was out long term and they were giving Al time off to prep for the playoffs... and Theis can kinda shoot which makes him more versatile.

As to whether Whiteside can do better... I think if he wants playing time, he can almost certainly find more somewhere else. If he wants money.... he can likely find a bit more somewhere else. If he wants a ring.... yeah BOS is likely one of the 3-4 best options left. And given those things... he'll wait for a lot of things to shake out before he sees where it lands.

Listen if they get Whiteside I'd be very happy, he's a good backup for TL (less so for Al), I just understand why he's not jumping to sign up for 10-12 MPG average with DNPs thrown in, even on a contender until he figures out whether he can get better.
 

JM3

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TL & Horford really should only be playing a few minutes per game at the same time during the regular season anyway, so if Horford is out, even if you can't play TL/Whiteside, that's still an easy 28/20 split.

But yeah, there's no harm in Whiteside weighing out his options & not rushing to sign a minimum contract. It's not like there's some musical chairs he's going to end up on the wrong side of at that cost.
 

pjheff

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None of the people you listed are true centers. If you’re a big like Whiteside, I understand waiting out trades just because you never know, but I highly doubt that there will be a more attractive option out there than Boston.

I would think that Boston would want another true big man (better than Kornet and Cabin Jelly) to come in and be able to weather the punishment and pounding from other centers.
While I too would think that Boston would want another “true big man,” better than Kornet and Kabingele, I’d be surprised if the team is in the market for a “true center” like Whiteside (or Howard). Much like Brad has clearly targeted guards with size (like White and Brogdon) to fit the defense, I’d expect him to seek a more mobile big who can approximate what Al and TL do on that end of the floor.
 

chilidawg

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While I too would think that Boston would want another “true big man,” better than Kornet and Kabingele, I’d be surprised if the team is in the market for a “true center” like Whiteside (or Howard). Much like Brad has clearly targeted guards with size (like White and Brogdon) to fit the defense, I’d expect him to seek a more mobile big who can approximate what Al and TL do on that end of the floor.
Much like he did last year with Theis. Makes sense.
 

TripleOT

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Kabengele could certainly get better defensively, playing for a team with such a strong defensive culture. It appears that he has the physical tools to do what a big in the Celtic system needs to do.

KO would be a great buyout get for the Celtics
 
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HomeRunBaker

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Side note: just saw that old friend Gerald Green is now a G-League champion as well playing alongside Kabengele. He must love basketball to be coming off the bench in the G-League after making over $25M (that's just NBA and doesn't include overseas contracts).
After taxes, agent fees, and 15 years of living a pro ballers lifestyle there is a decent chance he’s running on fumes after not having earned anything the past couple years.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Much like he did last year with Theis. Makes sense.
Yeah there isn’t an urgency to do anything else at this point in time unless they know something about TL’s knee that would prevent him from being ready to go.
 

Euclis20

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Side note: just saw that old friend Gerald Green is now a G-League champion as well playing alongside Kabengele. He must love basketball to be coming off the bench in the G-League after making over $25M (that's just NBA and doesn't include overseas contracts).
I had to look it up to confirm, it's remarkable that Green made just $25M after being drafted in the 1st round in 2005 and playing 12 years in the league. A guy with his physical tools who stuck around for that long, I figured he got one decent contract at some point, but it never happened. Here are the other guys from the 2005 draft who played 10+ years and their career earnings:

10 years:
Ronny Turiaf ($23M), Jason Maxiell ($29M), Francisco Garcia ($31M), Danny Granger ($71M), Martell Webster ($47M)

11 years:
Nate Robinson ($25M), Charlie Villanueva ($52M)

12 years:
Monta Ellis ($106M), Brandon Bass ($39M), Ian Miahinmi ($84M), Deron Williams ($158M), David Lee ($95M)

13 years:
Ersan Ilysasova ($69M), Jarrett Jack ($47M), Channing Frye ($69M)

14 years:
Amir Johnson ($79M), Raymond Felton ($54M), Andrew Bogut ($118M)

15+ years:
Marvin Williams ($124M), CJ Miles ($59M), Lou Williams ($87M), Chris Paul ($331M and counting)

The only guys with double digit years who made the same or less than Green are Ronny Turiaf (a 2nd round pick who had open heart surgery) and Nate Robinson (last seen getting knocked unconscious by a youtuber), both of whom played fewer years than Green.
 

lovegtm

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Yeah there isn’t an urgency to do anything else at this point in time unless they know something about TL’s knee that would prevent him from being ready to go.
The fact that they don't seem super-urgent makes me cautiously optimistic on TL's knee. I had originally been more in the camp (I think you were too) that there was a lot wrong there and that we might not see him for awhile.
 

lovegtm

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Kornet has proven he’s capable of playing 10mpg or so as necessary as a backup big in the league. He’s also clearly a player Brad likes and one that advanced metrics do too (like in this case meaning view as close to average—although I suspect he’s not actually that good since his usage has been so limited). We shouldn’t need any minutes from him when at full health as I expect Ime to keep doing what he did in the playoffs in terms of starting Horford and Timelord but then rarely playing them together after the first 4 minutes of each half. On days one of them sits, Kornet will be able to adequately fill in any minutes we need to plug with a 5.

Ultimately, last season Theis and Kanter combined played fewer than 800 minutes. That’s just not that important. Romeo played almost that many minutes, and Nesmith played almost 600. Not every player who gets regular season minutes needs to be above average. It’s ok if we have a bench role filled by a competent but not particularly good player.
Yup, and they can also just play Grant at C against a lot of opposing Cs, as long as you go big at 1-4 to keep rebounding.
 

HomeRunBaker

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The fact that they don't seem super-urgent makes me cautiously optimistic on TL's knee. I had originally been more in the camp (I think you were too) that there was a lot wrong there and that we might not see him for awhile.
Absolutely! The “Let’s run it back” approach to our frontcourt is good news in this regard.

Brad is showing signs of EAG (Early Ainge Genius) in that we had one glaring need coming off that Finals loss and that’s pretty much it then BOOM, addresses it with Brogdon.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I had to look it up to confirm, it's remarkable that Green made just $25M after being drafted in the 1st round in 2005 and playing 12 years in the league. A guy with his physical tools who stuck around for that long, I figured he got one decent contract at some point, but it never happened. Here are the other guys from the 2005 draft who played 10+ years and their career earnings:

10 years:
Ronny Turiaf ($23M), Jason Maxiell ($29M), Francisco Garcia ($31M), Danny Granger ($71M), Martell Webster ($47M)

11 years:
Nate Robinson ($25M), Charlie Villanueva ($52M)

12 years:
Monta Ellis ($106M), Brandon Bass ($39M), Ian Miahinmi ($84M), Deron Williams ($158M), David Lee ($95M)

13 years:
Ersan Ilysasova ($69M), Jarrett Jack ($47M), Channing Frye ($69M)

14 years:
Amir Johnson ($79M), Raymond Felton ($54M), Andrew Bogut ($118M)

15+ years:
Marvin Williams ($124M), CJ Miles ($59M), Lou Williams ($87M), Chris Paul ($331M and counting)

The only guys with double digit years who made the same or less than Green are Ronny Turiaf (a 2nd round pick who had open heart surgery) and Nate Robinson (last seen getting knocked unconscious by a youtuber), both of whom played fewer years than Green.
Interesting, thanks for looking it up. One thing the $25M doesn't account for is his two+ years overseas but I'm sure that's not a lot either.
After taxes, agent fees, and 15 years of living a pro ballers lifestyle there is a decent chance he’s running on fumes after not having earned anything the past couple years.
Maybe but it does seem that Green loves the game. I didn't know this but HOU had appointed him player development coach at the beginning of the season but he unretired when COVID went through the league hoping he'd get a call from someone.

He's also now playing in the Big3, where he should be a star. Here's a write-up about his first game: https://big3.com/news/three-takeaways-from-week-1/
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I'll never forget going to the Celtics-Sixers game like 2 days after the AI trade. Andre Miller wasn't even with the Sixers yet. And it was also literally the first game after PP was shut down for the middle of the season with Hellenic Elbow, so rather than a semi-interesting showdown of Hall-of-Famers, we got to see the Celtics' youngsters get smoked by Iggy.

Gerald was flying all over the place. He and Big Al both put up numbers in that game. Very exciting. I remember being pissed that Doc wouldn't give Rondo any run.
 
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Cesar Crespo

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I'll never forget going to the Celtics-Sixers game like 2 days after the AI trade. Andre Miller wasn't even with the Sixers yet. And it was also literally the first game after PP was shut down for the season with Hellenic Elbow, so rather than a semi-interesting showdown of Hall-of-Famers, we got to see the Celtics' youngsters get smoked by Iggy.

Gerald was flying all over the place. He and Big Al both put up numbers in that game. Very exciting. I remember being pissed that Doc wouldn't give Rondo any run.
I was trying to figure out wtf you were talking about. Then I realized Big Al is Jefferson and not Horford.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I'll never forget going to the Celtics-Sixers game like 2 days after the AI trade. Andre Miller wasn't even with the Sixers yet. And it was also literally the first game after PP was shut down for the middle of the season with Hellenic Elbow, so rather than a semi-interesting showdown of Hall-of-Famers, we got to see the Celtics' youngsters get smoked by Iggy.

Gerald was flying all over the place. He and Big Al both put up numbers in that game. Very exciting. I remember being pissed that Doc wouldn't give Rondo any run.
I was trying to figure out who you were talking about too as I completely forgot that AI was traded to DEN.

While I was trying to figure it out, I ran across this article that talks about what might have happened if PHI had not asked for Andre Miller in return for AI: https://www.libertyballers.com/2013/8/21/4639104/sixers-iverson-andre-miller-trade.

Here's the game you went to: https://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/200612220BOS.html. The only guy that was + that night was the White Mamba. :)
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I was trying to figure out who you were talking about too as I completely forgot that AI was traded to DEN.

While I was trying to figure it out, I ran across this article that talks about what might have happened if PHI had not asked for Andre Miller in return for AI: https://www.libertyballers.com/2013/8/21/4639104/sixers-iverson-andre-miller-trade.

Here's the game you went to: https://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/200612220BOS.html. The only guy that was + that night was the White Mamba. :)
Hell there is also the frightening alternate history where Ainge gives in to fan pressure and uses up a bunch of his KG bullets on bringing Iverson here. I don't think it would've happened, as we can surmise Ainge was likely planning to target Garnett for multiple years, but I do remember a lot of folks pining for it when AI became available.
 

brendan f

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Can't remember where I saw it but a recent interview with Ime made it sound like he prioritized getting back-up wing help more than another big. With Kabengele signed as injury insurance, C's seem comfortable for now with Kornet as the back-up big (agree that he's fine as our Theis replacement/10mpg guy). I like Boogie but might make more sense to focus on someone like Jeremy Lamb as a wing who would be fine in spot minutes. Of course, given their luxury tax issues, C's might be judicious about signing even a minimum deal.