Moore to play in Italy
Draft pick leaves door open for Celtics
The best-case scenario for the Celtics is that E’Twaun Moore uses his Italian experience to improve as a player and return after the lockout to become a key asset off the bench.
That may be what management is hoping, but they have no control over Moore’s decision to sign with
The clause allows Moore to return to the Celtics when the lockout ends, a key reason why he signed with the Italian Level A team. He is scheduled to report to Italy in late August.
Because of the lockout, the Celtics can have no contact with Moore, but agent Mark Bartelstein indicated that he discussed the possibility of Moore heading overseas before the lockout and team president Danny Ainge gave his approval.
Ainge is not allowed to talk about current players or he could face a $1 million fine.
“We couldn’t be happier about it,’’ Bartelstein said of the deal. “It’s just a great situation for him. Treviso is one of the premier organizations in Europe. They have been that way for a long time. It’s a great place to live. I’m very, very appreciative that they were able to give him the flexibility of still pursuing his dream of playing in the NBA.’’
Moore had a solid chance of cracking the Celtics’ roster and could make a contribution this season if he returns after the lockout. Bartelstein said that he was pursuing opportunities for his client because Moore had to earn a living.
Moore is the second Celtic to join an European team. Nenad Krstic, a free agent, signed with CSKA Moscow shortly after the NBA Finals.
“We are very satisfied that E’Twaun Moore [has] signed for [our team],’’ Benetton general manager Claudio Coldebella said in a statement.
Bartelstein said Moore, who averaged 18 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.2 assists at Purdue last season, had more than one offer, but only Benetton offered the out clause.
“Yeah it was difficult and it’s a complicated issue, and I think E’Twaun is such a good kid that they are excited about having him,’’ Bartelstein said. “This lockout could go quite a while so [he] could be over there for a quite a while.’’
Moore and Celtics teammate JaJuan Johnson have been working out at a summer league in Indianapolis. Johnson reportedly is also considering overseas offers.
Gary Washburn can be reached at email@example.com.