Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Celtics re-sign Xavier Tillman to a reported two-year deal

The Celtics will keep their championship frontcourt together by reportedly re-signing back up big man Xavier Tillman Tuesday to a two-year contract -- according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

It's the fifth contract -- which is a fully-guaranteed minimum deal for Tillman, per Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe -- the Celtics have handed out in a 72-hour span, as they retain another player from this past season's title run.

President of basketball operations Brad Stevens opened NBA free agency Sunday by re-upping centers Luke Kornet and Neemias Queta to new deals, before reportedly coming to a agreement on a four-year, $125.9 million extension with Derrick White and a five-year, $315 million super-max extension with Jayson Tatum -- making it the richest contract in NBA history -- this past Monday.

With the return of Kornet, Queta and now Tillman, it further gives the Celtics some much needed insurance as far as the frontcourt depth is concerned with Kristaps Porzingis out 5-6 months following last week's ankle surgery and limiting minutes for Al Horford -- who'll be 39-years-old come the playoffs next season.

Acquired in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies at the February deadline, Tillman appeared in 20 regular-season games with Boston averaging 4.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per contest. His best performance with the Celtics came in Game 3 of the 2024 NBA Finals, which he hit a corner 3-pointer, grabbed four rebounds, and recorded two blocks in a comeback road win against the Mavericks.
"When we got Xavier at the trade deadline, he came with the reputation of a winner and great teammate," Stevens said in a team press release. "Xavier is a hard worker who brings grit, toughness, and a team-first mentality that we appreciate. We are excited that Xavier has chosen to come back to the Celtics."
The C's now have filled 14 of their 15 main roster spots within the first few days of the off-season now with Tillman coming back. Boston's first-round pick; Baylor Scheierman (No. 30 overall) is the only other player currently signed of the group who was not on the team last year.

Oshae Brissett may choose to return to the Celtics on a new deal to round out the roster after opting out of his player option last week, but according to Himmelsbach -- the wing is seeking to sign with a team that could offer a better salary and more playing time.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of The Associated Press

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