Celtics’ Yabusele to play in China

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He got a small taste of the NBA by playing in two summer leagues for the Celtics earlier this month.

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Guerschon Yabusele will have to wait until next year for some more NBA action.

Drafted 16th by the Celtics in June, the 20-year-old forward will spend the 2016-17 season playing for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association.

The team, owned by former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, listed Yabusele on its roster Thursday after he agreed to a reported one-year contract.

Former Celtics guard Delonte West spent time with the Sharks.

The only American listed on the Shanghai roster is former University of Connecticut guard A.J. Price, who was drafted by the Indiana Pacers and played 261 games for five teams in the NBA starting in 2009.

As soon as the Celtics drafted Yabusele on June 23, it was expected the native of France would stay overseas to gain more experience.

He appeared in eight games in summer leagues in Utah and Las Vegas this month, averaging 8.2 points, six rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 25 minutes.

Yabusele spent last season in the Pro B League in France, averaging 11.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 steals while recording eight double-doubles.

Another Celtics’ first-round draft pick, center Ante Zizic, will also not be with the team this season.

The 19-year-old is going to play for KK Cibona Zagreb in his native Croatia after being chosen No. 23 by the Celtics.

That means only one of the three first-rounders, Jaylen Brown of the University of California, will be in training camp this fall.

Brown was the third player selected and was impressive during the summer leagues. He has yet to sign a contract.

The Celtics also have three second-round picks whose status is up in the air.

Guard Demetrius Jackson of Notre Dame, forward Ben Bentil of Providence College and forward Abdel Nader of Iowa State could be vying for spots on the roster in the fall.

The Celtics, when Brown signs his rookie deal, will have 13 players under guaranteed contracts, two below the NBA maximum.

TNS

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