Celtics

Murphy receives buyout, appears headed to Celts

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Murphy receives buyout, appears headed to Celts

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

SALT LAKE CITY A league source has confirmed that Troy Murphy has come to terms on a buyout with the Golden State Warriors, which will pave the way for the 6-foot-10 inch forward to sign with the Boston Celtics. The buyout is pending league approval, which won't come about until sometime on Monday.

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News was the first to report Murphy's buyout.

While it's not a done deal that Murphy will be a Celtic, all indications are pointing in that direction.

Adding Murphy bolsters a Boston frontline that, while talented, has proven to be extremely frail.

Starting center Kendrick Perkins was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. But even before the trade, Perkins was out with a left knee injury.

Shaquille O'Neal will be Boston's full-time starter at center, but he has been out with a right Achilles tendon injury the past nine games.

Jermaine O'Neal had surgery on his left knee, and he's not due back until the end of March at the earliest.

Currently the Celtics have just one true center, Nenad Krstic, who was acquired in the Perkins trade with Oklahoma City on Thursday.

The only other team that's currently a serious contender for Murphy, is the Miami Heat. A league source said the New York Knicks might make a last-minute run at him as well.

Like the Celtics, Miami would love to add another big man whose perimeter-shooting skills could help space the floor more.

But joining the Heat might be a bit more complicated.

Miami has 15 players with guaranteed contracts, which means a player has to waived.

It is unclear if the Heat would be willing to do that.

Meanwhile, the Celtics have three open roster spots following their trading frenzy on Thursday in which they shipped out a third of their roster while taking back just two players (Jeff Green and Krstic).

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

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Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

WALTHAM -- It appears Marcus Morris’ debut for the Celtics will be when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 30.
 
The 6-foot-9 forward confirmed to reporters on Monday that, for now, that’s the target date.
 
Morris spent time after practice playing some one-one-one against rookie Jayson Tatum.
 
“I’m trying to push on it a little more,” he said. “Felt pretty good beating the rook’s ass one-on-one.”
 
The addition of Morris to the lineup can’t come soon enough for the Celtics (1-2).  They have already lost Gordon Hayward (ankle) for the season, and Marcus Smart (ankle) missed Friday’s win over Philadelphia. Smart said he would probably be in uniform for Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks. 
 
Those injuries have forced the Celtics to dig deeper into their roster, resulting in several first-year players seeing action. 
 
Having a veteran like Morris on the floor would bode well for the Celts in their quest to remain among the better teams in the East this season. 
 
Morris, who went through the non-contact portion of practice on Monday, joined the Celtics on Oct. 5, shortly after he and his brother Markieff (who plays for Washington) were acquitted of assault charges involving an incident in Phoenix in January of 2015. He appeared in one preseason game, scoring seven points on 3-for-6 shooting from the field.

Coach Brad Stevens said Morris was having some knee discomfort when he showed up for training camp. That, combined with showing up late to training camp because of his court case in Phoenix, resulted in him not having the level of conditioning he’s used to at the start of training camp. 
 
“It’s not that I’m in bad shape,” he told NBC Sports Boston earlier. “It’s just that I’m not where I expect myself to be conditioning-wise, right now.”
 
Morris echoed similar sentiments on Monday. 
 
“I’m in great condition,” he said. “I just want to be a little better. My conditioning has never been the problem. It’s the soreness in my [left] knee. It’s gotten a lot better over the past 10 days, so I feel I can play now. But be cautious because it’s a long season.”
 
Morris was acquired in the summer by Boston from Detroit, in exchange for Avery Bradley. The move was done to not only ensure there was enough salary cap space to sign then-free agent Gordon Hayward, but also for the Celtics to add a versatile player who can play both forward positions.