BOSTON CELTICS SET TO INTRODUCE 3 YOUNG TALENTED STAR IN OTHER…

The Celtics are about to see a lot more of a familiar face in the coming weeks against a division rival. As part of the blockbuster trade that sent James Harden to the Clippers on Tuesday morning, the 76ers will be receiving former Celtics forward Marcus Morris as part of the return package. The Clippers also sent Robert Covington, Nicolas Batum and KJ Martin in the deal along with two future first-round and second-round picks in exchange for Harden and PJ Tucker. Danny Green was also waived by the Sixers to create roster space for Philadelphia’s new additions.

Morris had originally been a key part of the Clippers starting five but he was benched in the closing weeks of last year’s regular season amid some shooting and defensive struggles. Morris did end up returning to the floor in the playoffs after injuries hit the Clippers during their series loss to the Suns but the veteran had remained away from the team this season for personal reasons as his name lingered in trade rumors.

Morris will likely get a fresh start now in Philadelphia under new coach Nick Nurse as the Sixers weigh several options at power forward in Morris, Batum, Covington and Martin to help replace PJ Tucker.

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Morris is originally from Philadelphia and will surely be feeling plenty of pressure in his old home amid a contract year at age 34. Morris is earning $17.1 million in the final year of his contract and will need to show a big bounce back in Philadelphia to command anything close to that on the open market next summer after his benching in LA.

His knockdown 3-point shooting (37.6 percent in career) could come in handy though for the Sixers to provide better floor spacing around Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. The 6-foot-8 forward will be facing plenty of competition though for minutes with his former Clippers teammates along with Sixers reserve wing Kelly Oubre.

Morris had some of his best moments playing against the 76ers during his two seasons in Boston, helping the Celtics upset Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference Semifinals back in 2018. Boston let Morris walk as a free agent in the summer of 2019, instead electing to use cap room to sign Kemba Walker to a max deal.

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