The Celtics could be burned by the current NBA lockout if second-round pick E’Twaun Moore decides to accept one of the multiple offers he has from teams overseas.
His agent, Mark Bartelstein, told the Globe today that Moore, chosen 55th overall in June’s draft out of Purdue, is considering joining a team for the 2011-12 season. Moore is not signed to a contract by the Celtics and is not on the team’s payroll.
A report surfaced Sunday that Moore (holding up the number 55 jersey) was close to joining Cimberio Varese, a top-division team in Italy, but Bartelstein said that was one of the offers on the table. Moore, considered primarily a shooting guard, averaged 18.2 points and 5.1 assists as a senior last year at Purdue.
“We’re looking at some thing right now,” Bartelstein said. “We haven’t made a final decision but we’re certainly having conversation. I wouldn’t deny that at all but we haven’t made a final decision on what we’re doing. We’re looking at some different things. We’ll make a decision if not today, the first couple of days of next week.”
Bartelstein would not say if an overseas contract included an opt-out close for returning to the Celtics in case the lockout concludes and there is a 2011-12 NBA season.
“There are many different things that are being bandied about,” he said. “We’re working towards making a decision pretty soon.”
The difficulty for the Celtics is they are not allowed to have any contact with Bartelstein or Moore during the process. Team president Danny Ainge can’t give his blessing or disapproval at to whether Moore should head overseas or even offer a guaranteed contract as incentive to remain in the States.
“It makes it tough, there’s no question,” Bartelstein said. “There’s things we’d like to be able to have a conversation with Danny about because I know how highly they feel about E’Twaun. But the problem at this point we just have no confidence that the league wants to get a deal done. My job is to bring as many opportunities and options as imaginable to my clients.
“Based on the way the negotiations are going with the NBA, there’s just no reason to believe there’s going to be a season any time soon. So E’Twaun needs to make a living and he wants to play basketball.”