Celtics to Sign Ex-Rockets PG Following Marcus Smart Suspension: Report

Celtics sign Chris Clemons following Marcus Smart suspension

Getty Boston Celtics point guard Marcus Smart.

On the heels of starting point guard Marcus Smart being suspended for the team’s preseason finale, the Celtics have opted to add some reinforcement to their backcourt — at least for the time being. According to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss, Boston is signing point guard Chris Clemons to an Exhibit 10 deal.

The 5-foot-9-inch, 180-pound Clemons entered the league in 2019 as an undrafted free agent by way of Campbell University. During his rookie campaign, Clemons appeared in 33 games with the Houston Rockets as a two-way player, averaging 4.9 points over 8.8 minutes per contest.

He hasn’t appeared in an NBA regular-season game since his rookie showing, as a torn Achilles suffered in a preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs wiped his 2020-21 slate clean. Clemons was officially waived by Houston in January in a corresponding move to the team acquiring Kevin Porter Jr. from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Similar to a two-way contract, a player on an Exhibit 10 deal is assigned to the franchise’s G-League affiliate. However, where they differ is that an Exhibit 10 contract is a one-year, non-guaranteed deal worth the minimum salary. Those with an Exhibit 10 clause in their contract can be waived at any time without salary cap repercussions.

Per Hoops Rumors’ Dana Gauruder, the belief is that Clemons will most likely be waived by the Cs and ultimately play for the franchise G-League affiliate, the Maine Celtics. Should the point guard remain on the roster for upwards of 60 days, he could earn a bonus of $50,000.

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Ime Udoka Ready to Move Forward After Smart’s Suspension

Smart’s suspension for Boston’s preseason finale vs. the Miami Heat stems from a missed team flight to Orlando earlier in the week, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Celtics played the Magic on Wednesday, October 13th, where Smart’s absence was deemed a “rest” day for the team’s starting point guard.

Obviously, it’s not an ideal start for the Smart, Ime Udoka pairing. However, both parties are looking to put this in the rearview and move forward.

“It’s internal,” Udoka said. “We’ve handled it. He’s remorseful, and we hold Marcus to a high standard. We’ve made it clear from Day 1, so he’ll obviously be out tomorrow night. He’s with us here on the trip. Just look forward to moving on from this growing and obviously abiding by the team rules and principles.”

Smart Has His Eyes Set on New York

Smart, who inked a four-year, $77 million extension this offseason, is coming off a career season with the Celtics, averaging personal bests in both points (13.1) and assists (5.7).

“Marcus is one of our leaders that we expect a lot from. He understands that. He’s remorseful, and we’ll move on from there,” Udoka declared.

Smart echoed a similar sentiment, claiming “We’re going to keep that in-house. It’s over and done with. We’re excited for the game at MSG, though.”

The Celtics travel to New York on October 20th where they’ll open regular season play against the Knicks and familiar faces Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier in Madison Square Garden.


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