The Celtics have signed Mfiondu Kabengele to a two-way contract. Over five Summer League games played with the team, the forward averaged 14.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.2 blocks per game. Additionally, in the 2020-21 NBA season, Kabengele averaged 4.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in a total of 16 games played with the Cavaliers. He shot 42% from the field as well.
After the Celtics lost 102-95 against the Nets on Saturday night, Kabengele told reporters: “I showed them my heart, my energy, my tenacity. I feel like the way I set screens, the way I crash the glass, make plays off the ball, rebound, move the ball, stretch the floor, make my free throws, switch 1-5, those kind of versatility things I feel like are really valuable to a team, and I want to show that for Boston.”
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Mfiondu Kabengele has only played 51 NBA games
Furthermore, the Canadian played two seasons at Florida State. In the 2018-19 season, Kabengele averaged 13.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game with the Seminoles. He won ACC Sixth Man of the Year in 2019. Of course, the forward was selected 27th overall by the Nets in the 2019 NBA Draft. However, his draft rights were then traded to the Clippers.
In addition to playing for the Clippers and Cavaliers, Kabengele spent the last couple of seasons in the NBA G League. He played for the Agua Caliente Clippers in the 2019-20 season and Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the 2021-22 season. Evident by the tweet below, the Celtics liked what they saw during the NBA 2K23 Summer League.
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) July 14, 2022
While with the G League Vipers last season, the forward ranked fourth on his team in scoring, averaging 17.5 points per game. Plus, he averaged 9.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1 block per game. The Vipers went on to win the championship 131-114 in Game 2 over the Delaware Blue Coats. It was their fourth title in franchise history.
Equally important, in the Cavaliers’ 124-97 loss to the Mavericks on May 9, 2021, Kabengele scored a career-high 14 points in 23 minutes played. The forward shot 5-for-7 from the floor.
According to NBA rules, two-way players are only allowed to play with a team for a maximum of 45 days during the regular season. Though, Celtics G.M. Brad Stevens could convert Kabengele’s two-way deal into a regular contract in the coming months.
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Other Celtics offseason signings for the 2022-23 NBA season
After the Celtics traded Daniel Theis and Aaron Nesmith to the Pacers for Malcolm Brogdon, the team claimed Danilo Gallinari off waivers from the Spurs. Then, the C’s re-signed Sam Hauser to a three-year, $6 million contract. And the front office re-signed Luke Kornet. The terms of Kornet’s deal were not disclosed.
During the 2022 NBA Draft, the Celtics selected JD Davison 53rd overall. In his freshman 2021-22 season with Alabama, the guard averaged 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1 steal per game. He averaged 46.3% shooting from the field and 30.1% from 3-point range.
Moreover, Davison ranked sixth in the SEC in assists (143) and seventh in assists per game (4.3). Also, the guard was selected to the SEC All-Freshman Team last season.
Considering the signings above, the Celtics could use more frontcourt depth. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown need support. If a few notable wings sustain major injuries in the 2022-23 season, the team will probably convert Kabengele’s two-way signing into a regular contract.
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