5 things to know about new Celtics center Vincent Poirier

The Frenchman will add another rebounding presence to the Celtics' frontcourt.

Vincent Poirier
Vincent Poirier playing for the Magic in the Summer League in 2016. –AP Photo/John Raoux

The Celtics added another center on Tuesday with the signing of Frenchman Vincent Poirier on a two year contract. Listed as 6-foot-11-inches tall (though it could be seven feet in actuality), Poirier will add to the team’s frontcourt, along with fellow new signing Enes Kanter.

Poirier was never drafted by an NBA team, but he’s played in the U.S. before. In 2016, he signed to play with the Magic’s Summer League team, playing in five games. A year later, he again played in the Summer League for the Nets.

Here are a few things to know about the 25-year-old:

He led the EuroLeague in rebounding in 2018-2019.

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One of Poirier’s defining attributes is his ability to rebound. In his most recent season with Spanish club Baskonia, Poirier led the EuroLeague in every rebounding category. He was especially strong with offensive rebounds, averaging 5.23 per 40 minutes.

Poirier was also a top-10 shot blocker:

He’s capable of running the floor on offense.

Despite his size, Poirier has shown an ability to run the floor with his teammates on offense. This has led to an array of fast break dunks and alley-oops.

Poirier saved some of his best for the EuroLeague playoffs. Despite losing to Russian club CSKA Moscow, he averaged 16.5 points in the playoffs and shot 82.4 percent at the free throw line.

Guershon Yabusele already knows him.

Current Celtic and fellow Frenchman Guerschon Yabusele has known Poirier for approximately 10 years. His recent description illustrates how Poirier appears to have improved in the last few years.

“He got stronger,” Yabusele told the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach. “He has better hands. His confidence is different. He sets the screen and rolls fast to the rim, he has the capability to grab rebounds, and is a good shot blocker. He’s able to finish at the rim strong and all the little things we can use.”

The Celtics were reportedly scouting him in April.

According to a report from French newspaper L’Equipe, the Celtics were first linked with potentially signing Poirier in April, but couldn’t sign him until the offseason both in Europe and in the NBA.

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“I don’t prefer EuroLeague or the NBA, but I’ll make my decision if two contracts are on the table,” Poirier told French basketball site BeBasket. “I won’t move to the NBA to find myself sitting on the bench.”

He’s used to a passionate fanbase.

Poirier played for Baskonia before signing with the Celtics. Located in the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz in the Basque Country, the club’s fans are known for being passionate.

So when Poirier arrives in Boston, he likely wont’ be fazed by the intensity of playing in front of Celtics fans.

“Our fans are ambitious and want to see all of us giving everything we have on the court,” Poirier said in a EuroLeague interview in 2018. “It is a great way to stay motivated, because you are always asked to give your best — 100 percent, no less. It is a good kind of pressure. I like it.”

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