BOSTON – The debut of Marcus Morris will have to wait at least one more game, according to Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Stevens wanted Marcus Morris to get at least one practice in before making his debut with the Celtics, a goal that was achieved – sort of – when he joined the Celtics’ Gatorade League Affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, for a scrimmage in Waltham on Monday.
“He played for a long time, a lot of five-on-five which was really good,” Stevens said. “He’ll join us for practice tomorrow and we’ll go from there.”
Morris arrived later than any of his teammates for training camp while he and his brother Markieff Morris (who plays for Washington) were in Phoenix on trial for assault charges stemming from an incident in January of 2015.
Both were acquitted on October 3, with Marcus Morris joining the Celtics on October 5.
He would appear in one preseason game, and has been sidelined for the first six regular season games while recovering from left knee soreness that he had prior to arriving for training camp.
Stevens explains why the Celtics have been so cautious with giving Morris the green light to play this season.
“One of the things that we just didn’t want to do is go back and forth all year,” Stevens said. “So, he’s improved a great deal. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow. We’re excited about his progress, and he’s excited about his progress which is good.”
The Boston Celtics close out their NBA Summer League campaign with a 4-2 record, after falling to the Portland Trail Blazers 95-80 in the Las Vegas quarterfinals, at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.
The Celtics trailed by as much as 14 points in the first half, only to crawl all the way back to tie it up twice in the third quarter before giving way in the fourth.
It was a strong night for the Celtics' bench. Former UMass star Trey Davis, childhood friend of Marcus Smart, led all Boston scorers with 19 points. Meanwhile, University of Rhode Island star Hassan Martin had another solid showing, leading the Celtics with 16 points off the bench to go with nine rebounds. Guerschon Yabusele was the other Celtic -- and only starter -- in double-figures, the sturdy big man showing range from deep with a 4-for-7 effort on three-pointers that anchored a 16-point total.
John Jenkins, a 2012 first-round pick of the Atlanta Hawks, led the way for Portland with 25 points.
The Boston Celtics announced they have waived guard Kadeem Allen Sunday ahead of their Summer League quarterfinal against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Allen's two-way contract he signed last season would have become fully guaranteed for the 2018-19 season had the Celtics not waived him Sunday.
The Boston Globe reported that it was likely Allen played his last game with the Celtics Saturday against Miami in the Summer League, and today Boston made it official.
Selected with the 53rd pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Allen spent most of last season with the Maine Red Claws, where he played very well. He only spent 18 games with the Celtics.
This year's summer league was an opportunity for Allen to earn a second year on his two-way contract. He struggled to score and create for others, leading to Pierria Henry taking the starting point guard role.
Allen's release opens up a two-way contract slot for the Celtics, who could look at their own summer league roster or another player who doesn't get an offer from their current team.
Henry has reportedly gained significant interest from pro teams in Europe, while Hassan Martin is likely to have two-way contract offers in front of him soon.
Roster spots are hard to come by given the strength of the current Celtics roster, but a temporary slot is there for Danny Ainge to fill.