The Celtics and 26-year-old forward Svi Mykhailiuk agreed to a one-year contract, according to Shams Charania. Boston’s interest in Mykhaliuk first surfaced when SDNA reported the Celtics made an offer to Mykhaliuk, who weighed another offer from Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos.
Mykhailiuk fits Brad Stevens and the Celtics’ long-running interest in shooting with size, and while they had interest in early August, nothing seemed imminent. Boston had a desire to pivot from the competition of last training camp toward a more established forward like Mykhailiuk, who has five seasons and 252 games of NBA experience under his belt while shooting 36% from three. Signings late in camp like Noah Vonleh and Justin Jackson fizzled out before the team traded them at the deadline, while veteran Blake Griffin provided the Celtics a legitimate boost in the front court during the regular season.
The Mykhailiuk signing leaves one regular season roster spot open. Luke Kornet and Dalano Banton enter training camp on non-guaranteed deals. Boston waived Justin Champagnie to create an extra standard roster spot earlier this summer.
The Lakers signed Mykhailiuk, born in Cherkasy, Ukraine, to a three-year deal after selecting him 47th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. He played four years at Kansas following a pair of professional seasons with his hometown Cherkaski Mavpy. He landed in Detroit in the Reggie Bullock trade during his rookie year, where he spent parts of three seasons, averaging 8.0 points while shooting 37.8% on 4.8 threes per game. At 6-7, he has no trouble getting his shot off, a legitimately beautiful stroke some have compared to Klay Thompson’s release, but he doesn’t bring much rebounding or defensive upside at his position.
So the Celtics reportedly want to add 26-year-old Svi Mykhailiuk to the roster.
He averaged 10.6 PPG on 40.4% three-point shooting for the Hornets in 19 games last season. Looked somewhat like a poor man's Klay Thompson.
If you think I am exaggerating, here are the highlights: pic.twitter.com/QUKBL4k7F7
— Tomek Kordylewski (@Timi_093) August 3, 2023
Detroit traded Mykhailiuk to Oklahoma City in 2021 before he joined the Raptors entering the 2021-22 season. His shooting dipped to 33.4% across 314 three-point attempts in 2021, then 30.6% over 134 in Toronto, which led to his release last summer. At the trade deadline, the Knicks sent him to Charlotte in a four-team trade that sent Josh Hart to New York and Jalen McDaniels to Philadelphia. Albeit over a small sample size, his Hornets tenure saw him finish 35-for-72 from two (48.6%) and 36-for-89 from three (40.4%).
Mykhailiuk also provides a balance between a relatively dependable reserve deep on the bench and players previously reported as Celtics targets like TJ Warren and Lamar Stevens, who saw their NBA standing dip last season and need to earn their way back into the league. The Celtics provide Mykhailiuk a chance to stick around, competitive money and a winner before he potentially makes the leap overseas in the future. Sam Hauser will play in front of him for now, but injuries and rest nights will give Mykhailiuk chances like what Griffin received.
His signing could either keep the door open for Blake Griffin, as CLNS Media previously reported, or leave the 15th and final spot open into the regular season after Boston often does. The team signed DJ Steward earlier this month to compete for the third and final two-way slot, so the Celtics sit at 17 out of the maximum 21 offseason roster spots (14 standard and three two-way contracts).