Boston Celtics

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 23: Enes Kanter #11 of the Boston Celtics reacts to a play during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson,

It looks like Enes Kanter will remain with the Celtics for the 2021 NBA season. The Turkish big man exercised the $5 million player option in his contract Thursday evening. The news was first reported by Shams Charania of the Athletic.

Signed to a two-year, $10 million contract in 2019, Kanter averaged 8.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in 58 games with the Celtics during the 2019-20 season. The 6-foot-10 center was also Boston’s best big on the offensive glass, with his 6.0 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes ranking as the best mark among all Celtics, and substantially better than Robert Williams’ second-best (3.7 per 36 minutes).

The Celtics’ center group now features Kanter, Daniel Theis, and Robert Williams as the projected primary contributors. The team also had Summer League standout and fan favorite Tacko Fall on a two-way contract last season.

In other roster management news, the Celtics declined to place a qualifying offer on backup point guard Brad Wanamaker, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The 31-year-old is now an unrestricted free agent.

The decisions on Kanter and Wanamaker leave Gordon Hayward as the lone domino to fall this offseason. A decision on his player option is expected by 5:00 p.m. Thursday.

UPDATE: Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe is reporting Brad Wanamaker could still return to Boston as a free agent. 

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.