Celtics Guard Wanted Boston Exit, Finds New NBA Home: Report

Tremont Waters joins the Rockets

Getty Damyean Dotson #21 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives against Tremont Waters #51 of the Boston Celtics.

After back-to-back seasons on a two-way deal, Tremont Waters was originally expected to take part in the Boston Celtics‘ summer league in hopes of cracking the team’s 15-man roster. However, despite what could have been perceived as a thinning backcourt at the time, that never materialized — mainly due to Waters’ desire for a new start to his NBA career. The Athletic’s Jared Weiss reported back in July that the 23-year-old point guard had been training back in his home state of Connecticut as opposed to with the Celtics organization and was “looking for more of an opportunity to break into a rotation elsewhere in the NBA this upcoming season.”

That opportunity has since presented itself, as the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen has reported that the Houston Rockets have added the former Celtics draft pick to their Summer League squad for the remaining two games in Las Vegas.

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Waters Dominanted G League, Struggled to Find Footing With Celtics

Selected with the No. 52 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, the LSU product has spent the past two seasons splitting time between the Celtics of the NBA and the Maine Celtics (formerly the Red Claws) of the G League. In his first season, Waters took home G League Rookie of the Year honors after averaging 18.0 points, 7.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.89 steals in 36 games. However, similar success has eluded him on the NBA hardwood. In 37 career games with the Celtics, Waters averaged 3.8 points on 36.1% shooting (30.6% from 3-point range) to go along with 2.1 assists, 0.9 rebounds and 0.7 steals.

Even with the departure of Kemba Walker and prior to the arrival of Dennis Schroder, the idea of Waters carving out a legitimate role in Ime Udoka’s point guard rotation was a stretch. Marcus Smart appears to be destined to serve as the team’s starter at the position this season. The Celtics also have rising sophomore Payton Pritchard, former top-five pick Kris Dunn, and third-year pro Carsen Edwards at their disposal — not to mention stashed guard Yam Madar.

Waters & Tacko Fall Were Eligible for Another Two-Way Contract

Waters and big man Tacko Fall were each eligible to ink another two-way deal with the Celtics before reaching the allotted three years permitted by the CBA. Had either player done so, they would have become the first player(s) to do so since the NBA introduced two-way contracts back in 2017. As for Fall, the Celtics opted not to extend a qualifying offer to the fan-favorite Senegalese center for the upcoming season, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Boston could of course still reunite with Fall later down the road. His minutes would still be mitigated in the Celtics’ frontcourt, especially with the additions of Al Horford and Enes Kanter this offseason. The team has been rumored to be shopping the recently acquired Bruno Fernandes. If they find a buyer for the power forward/center on the trade market, it could theoretically open the door for Fall to return to Beantown.

In 18 games with the Celtics in 2020-21, Fall totaled 47 points (21-of-29 shooting) with 52 rebounds and 20 blocks while averaging 7.6 points per contest — a near 3.0 minutes per game jump from his rookie campaign.


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