Kanter told the New York Daily News that Walker called him to personally recruit him to the Celtics.
"One of the reasons I picked Boston was because of Kemba Walker," he said. "He called me during free agency on [Celtics general manager] Danny Ainge's phone. He said, 'Hey, how we doing, big man?' That was special to me."
Ainge told reporters during the press conference that the team's "Plan A" entering free agency was to sign both Walker and Kanter. Boston had some big holes to fill after the departures of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford.
The #Celtics introduced Kemba Walker & Enes Kanter today. Danny Ainge said with a straight face that this was plan A all along. Take a listen @NBC10Boston @RaulNBCBoston @ASherrodblakely pic.twitter.com/TGfpNa52uI
— Craig Kolodny (@NBCBostonCraig) July 17, 2019
Many speculated if Walker would leave the Hornets after spending the first eight years of his career in Charlotte. However, the Celtics emerged as frontrunners to land Walker and later signed him to a four-year, $141 million maximum contract.
"It was definitely one of the hardest decisions of my life," Walker said on leaving the Hornets. "Charlotte's all I've known. It came down to my happiness and wanting to compete night in and night out."
Kemba on leaving Charlotte: “It was definitely one of the hardest decisions of my life. Charlotte’s all I’ve known. It came down to my happiness and wanting to compete night in and night out. ... My time was up there. I’m excited to start a new chapter.”
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) July 17, 2019
The Celtics added Kanter on a two-year, $110 million deal. The veteran center played in 23 games with the Trail Blazers last season after being waived by the Knicks in February. After news of his signing with Boston broke, Kanter confirmed with ESPN's The Undefeated that he did not re-sign with Portland and noted that a botched phone call might have played a role in his decision.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 1, 2019
Now, the Celtics have a newly reshaped roster and have apparently nailed the art of proper phone etiquette.