Scott Morrison: Yabusele 'was pressing a bit' due to lack of touches in 2019 summer league debut

Scott Morrison: Yabusele 'was pressing a bit' due to lack of touches in 2019 summer league debut

Heading into the 2019 summer league, there was some buzz about the Boston Celtics' third-year big man, Guerschon Yabusele. The 16th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft was expected to be the "main guy" for the summer-league Celtics as their most experienced player.

With the Celtics having an unsettled big-man rotation, Yabusele has an opportunity to take a step ahead in his battle with Robert Williams, Daniel Theis, and Vincent Poirier for a more consistent role off the bench behind Enes Kanter. But in order for that to happen, Yabusele will have to play better than he did in the team's Saturday-night win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

In the contest, Yabusele went 0-for-4 from the field and was only able to grab 4 rebounds in 16 minutes of scoreless action. Despite Yabusele's performance, Celtics summer league coach Scott Morrison wasn't too discouraged with his effort in the opener and thought there was a way that the coaches could help Yabusele.

“He didn’t get that many touches, which I could help with a little bit,” Morrison said per Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. “The second half, I tried to get him a few more looks, and I feel like maybe he was pressing a bit to make something happen on those touches because he hadn’t gotten many. So Guersch is a great passer, great cutter, good team basketball player, so I just got to remind him to play like that and showcase his strengths, and I’ll try to get him more opportunities where he can be a scorer as well.”

Of course, it didn't help Yabusele's cause that the crowd in the building were more focused on seeing Tacko Fall in action. The undrafted 7-foot-6 rookie from UCF got a lot of attention from the crowd and Morris referenced that being a factor in getting Fall some extra action.

“You’ve got to give the crowd what they want, and what they wanted was more touches for Tacko,” Scott Morrison said per the Celtics official Twitter account. “So we had to get him some more touches.”

Fall finished the game with 6 points, 4 rebounds, and a block in 10 minutes of action, and he certainly had more of a positive impact than Yabusele did when he was on the floor (Fall was a plus-18 in the game, Yabusele was a minus-12). If that continues, the Celtics could have a decision to make on Yabusele, whose $3.1 million team option has already been exercised for the 2019-2020 season.

Yabusele's next chance to step up will be on Monday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on NBC Sports Boston.

Stars, Studs and Duds from the C's Summer League Opener>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Celtics trade targets: Who could C's pursue at 2020 NBA trade deadline?


Celtics trade targets: Who could C's pursue at 2020 NBA trade deadline?

Should the Boston Celtics make an upgrade ahead of the 2020 NBA trade deadline? Here are seven players who could be moved and may be worth a look from the C's.

NBA Rumors: 'No traction' on Andre Drummond trade as deadline nears

NBA Rumors: 'No traction' on Andre Drummond trade as deadline nears

If the Detroit Pistons really want to trade Andre Drummond, they'll need to step on the gas pedal.

Teams have "kicked the tires" on a potential Drummond trade but there has been "no traction" on any deal ahead of Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reported Friday.

The Boston Celtics reportedly are among the teams interested in the 26-year-old big man, who leads the NBA in rebounds per game (15.7) and ranks eighth in blocks (1.8).

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Drummond would give Boston an answer to Eastern Conference giants like Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Milwaukee's Brook and Robin Lopez while bolstering a thin frontcourt currently holding its own with Enes Kanter and an overachieving Daniel Theis.

As Mannix points out, though, Drummond's $27 million cap hit could be a deal-breaker for many teams, including the Celtics. The C's would have to move Gordon Hayward or Marcus Smart and at least one other player to make salaries match, but the team seems reluctant to part with any members of their core.

If Boston still wants an upgrade, it may find better luck with Davis Bertans; Mannix reports there's a "feeling around the league" that the Washington Wizards "almost have to shop" the 27-year-old big man, who is averaging 15.3 points per game and shooting 43.4 percent from 3-point range amid a breakout season.