BOSTON (WHDH) - Minutes after the team wrapped up the NBA Las Vegas Summer League with a 102-95 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics made sure one of the summer squad’s standout players would be in green for the upcoming season.
After averaging 14 points and 9.8 rebounds per game on 55 percent shooting, center/forward Mfiondu Kabengele was signed to a two-way contract by the Celtics Saturday night.
The former Florida State Seminole was originally drafted with the 27th pick in the 2019 NBA draft but has struggled to find a permanent home in the NBA. After being traded by the Clippers to generate cap space ahead of the 2021 trade deadline, Kabengele finished the season with the Cleveland Cavaliers and did not appear in an NBA game last year.
Kabengele looked motivated to earn his way back to the league during his time in Vegas. The Celtics could often find Kabengele hanging above the rim for putback dunks and his athleticism was a boon for the team’s rebounding as well. He was even willing to venture outside the arc, knocking down 36.4 percent of his three point shots.
Kabengele’s signing fills the last of the pair of the Celtics’ two-way roster spots. Boston first addressed the slots last week after signing 2022 second round pick JD Davison. Players on NBA two-way contracts are restricted from spending more than 45 days with their parent organizations and both players will likely spend more time with the Celtics G-League club in Maine than on the TD Garden floor.
While Kabengele while likely see most of his minutes in Maine, the Celtics’ depth could be bolstered by the emergency big man. Since the Celtics shipped Center Daniel Theis to Indiana as part of the Malcolm Brogdon trade, Boston’s center depth has looked scant. Although the Celtics have the ability to operate Al Horford out of the center position in select lineups, the only full-time Center currently on the roster is Luke Kornet, who appeared in 12 games and averaged 2.2 points per game for Boston last year.
Neither of the Celtics’ two-way contract slots count as active roster spots and Boston still has room to add three full-time players.
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