The Boston Celtics will head into the 2023-24 NBA season as arguably the team to beat in the league, with the team making some game-changing moves during the offseason, which has reshaped the team’s roster around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Even though the Celtics were unable to land superstar guard Damian Lillard, Boston may have brought in a star player that better fits their roster in the form of veteran guard Jrue Holiday, formerly of the Philadelphia 76ers.
As a result of bringing in Holiday to bolster the backcourt, Boston had to send center Robert Williams to the Portland Trail Blazers, which could prove to be a costly loss.
With Williams gone, the player most likely to take his place is Al Horford, who will almost certainly be the team’s starter.
The real question is who will be backing up Horford from here on out, and it appears that head coach Joe Mazzulla has answered that question, as he will lean on Luke Kornet, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic.
Joe Mazzulla on backup center: "It starts with Luke. I thought Luke really did a great job last year. I think he’s an underrated player & I don’t think people realize how effective he is. He’s a guy that’s always in the right spot defensively (and) makes the right play."
— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) October 7, 2023
During the 2022-23 NBA season, Kornet didn’t make much of an impression as he played in 69 games, averaging 3.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game while shooting 66.5% from the floor.
Those kinds of numbers aren’t going to make much of a difference for Mazzulla and company in Boston, but the second-year head coach appears confident in Kornet’s ability to play well defensively, which might be all the coaching staff wants from here next season.
As one of the more prominent teams to watch in the NBA this season, Kornet will have a chance to shine on a legitimate title contender.NEXT: Jaylen Brown Shares His Thoughts On Celtics' New Additions