Report: Celtics’ first-rounder Guerschon Yabusele to play in China next season

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When the Celtics drafted Guerschon Yabusele at No. 16, he seemed destined to spend next season overseas. But it also seemed slightly more likely than not No. 23 pick Ante Zizic would go straight to Boston.

Did Zizic getting stashed alter the plan for Yabusele?

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:

Celtics forward Guerschon Yabusele, the 16th overall pick of last month’s NBA Draft, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to a league source.

With bonuses, Yabusele could make up to $1.5 million next season, the source said.

The standard 120% of the rookie scale would’ve paid Yabusele $1,888,200. But Boston might have offered just the minimum 80% ($1,258,800) to entice Yabusele not to sign yet. Presumably, this was agreed upon before the draft.

The Celtics have a deep roster and would’ve had little room to groom Yabusele in a win-now season. They clearly prefer him developing without occupying a roster spot, advancing toward free agency or receiving any of their money.

It’s a pretty good situation for Boston, which can focus on just No. 3 pick Jaylen Brown rather than all three of its first-round picks.