BOSTON (CBS) — Celtics rookie Marcus Smart is heading to the D-league, but don’t expect him to be there for long.
The Celtics assigned Smart to the Maine Red Claws on Thursday, the day after he made his return to the floor from a bad ankle sprain.
Smart missed 10 games with the injury, which occurred on November 7, and showed some obvious rust in his 4:38 on the floor against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. He missed all three of his shot attempts, and didn’t re-enter the game after head coach Brad Stevens took him out in the second quarter.
“I didn’t think he looked ready,” Stevens said following the 109-102 win over the Pistons. “Had nothing to do physically; he hasn’t practiced. It’s kind of tough to just throw him in there. I hadn’t even seen him until we got to the gym today.”
The Celtics are off on Thursday, so Smart’s assignment to the Red Claws will allow him to get a few extra reps before Boston’s next game on Friday night, when they host the L.A. Lakers at the TD Garden. Smart, the sixth overall pick in June’s draft, still has not participated in a full practice since the injury.
In six games this season, Smart has averaged 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 17.7 minutes per game.
Along with Smart, rookies James Young and Dwight Powell were also assigned to the Red Claws. All three players could be back in Boston before Friday night’s tilt against the Lakers.
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