LAS VEGAS — The Celtics defeated the 76ers, 96-82, in the Las Vegas Summer League opener for both teams. Second-round draft pick Carsen Edwards had 20 points on 7 of 17 shooting to lead Boston. First-round pick Grant Williams added 12 points and 6 rebounds.
“I was trying to make the right decision, try to make more space to where I’m more comfortable, really,” Edwards said. “First game and I’m still learning so much. These guys are on another level.”
The only discouraging part of the night for the Celtics was the play of former first-round pick Guerschon Yabusele, who was held scoreless and had 4 rebounds in 16 minutes. Yabusele’s $3.1 million option for next season was picked up last fall.
“He didn’t get that many touches, which I could help with a little bit,” coach Scott Morrison said. “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.”
Despite the presence of plenty of draft picks, 7-foot-6-inch center Tacko Fall, an undrafted free agent, generated by far the most interest from the crowd at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center. He received a hearty ovation when he checked into the game in the first quarter. The cheers continued whenever he made a play, and when he was on the bench, there were scattered chants of “We want Tacko!” Fall finished with 6 points and 4 rebounds in 10 minutes.
The Celtics will face the Cavaliers on Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Report: Morris to Spurs
Former Celtics forward Marcus Morris agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the San Antonio Spurs, according to The Athletic.
It was widely believed that Morris, a client of LeBron James’s agency Klutch Sports, was waiting to see if Kawhi Leonard ended up on the Lakers. If he did not, that would have been a logical landing spot for him.
Leonard, of course, agreed to a deal with the Clippers. But on Saturday afternoon, after the Lakers had come to agreements with free agents DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo, Morris made it clear on Twitter that he would not be next.
When a media member asked Morris if he would joining the Lakers, Morris posted: “No sir!”
The Celtics roster sits at 15 players and they renounced their free agent rights to Morris in order to create the space needed to bring in Kemba Walker, so they would only have been able to offer him a veteran’s minimum contract.
Top pick taking the lead
Williams, the No. 22 overall pick in last month’s draft, has already taken on a role as a vocal leader during these early summer practices. Williams, a two-time SEC player of the year, said it comes naturally to him.
“It’s always been about listening and learning,” he said. “So for me, being vocal comes after taking in the system and concepts we have in place, and trying to help the other guys to learn it as well. I try to do my best to not only help myself, but everyone around me, to let them know the coverages and the actions we’re going to run.”