Report: Enes Kanter Freedom Becomes 8th Celtics Player to Enter COVID-19 Protocols

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 23, 2021

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter Freedom during an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The Boston Celtics have placed center Enes Kanter Freedom in the COVID-19 health and safety protocols, per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

Enes Kanter FREEDOM @EnesFreedom

Freedom is now in captivity ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ˜ท <a href="https://t.co/E2PNfQYCYX">https://t.co/E2PNfQYCYX</a>

Freedom becomes the eighth player in the protocols for the Celtics after they played while missing seven players on Wednesday:

Boston Celtics @celtics

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NEBHInjuryReport?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NEBHInjuryReport</a> continued:<br><br>Josh Richardson (Health &amp; Safety Protocols) - OUT<br>Brodric Thomas (Health &amp; Safety Protocols) - OUT<br>Grant Williams (Health &amp; Safety Protocols) - OUT

Boston still earned a 111-101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by Jaylen Brown with 34 points. Freedom had four points and four rebounds in 12 minutes. 

The 29-year-old is averaging 4.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game this season as a high-energy contributor off the bench. His 13.0 minutes per game would still be the lowest of his career, despite playing 40 minutes in his first start of the season Monday against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Robert Williams will see more playing time with Freedom unavailable, while the Celtics will also likely utilize a smaller lineup.

The bigger concern is the spread of COVID-19 within the organization, which has been an issue throughout the NBA over the past month. The Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors have already postponed multiple games this week.

The Celtics are scheduled to face the Milwaukee Bucks on Christmas Day, with star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo also currently in the safety protocols.