Boston Celtics rumors reveal that Marcus Morris isn’t going to play Friday night (Oct. 6) after all. The hope had been that Morris would play for the Celtics against the Philadelphia 76ers, as he finally reported to the team this week. Morris and his brother were found not guilty in an aggravated assault trial that concluded earlier in the week. It allowed Morris to finally report to the Celtics, though there are murmurs that he still isn’t in game shape.

A report by Mass Live stated that Celtics coach Brad Stevens had hoped to have Morris in the lineup against the 76ers, but after participating in practice with the team, it appears Stevens has changed his mind.

This gives credence to the stories that Morris isn’t in “basketball shape” for the 2017-18 NBA season. Morris will still have a little time to be ready for the Oct. 17 opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers if he gets down to work.

Where does Morris fit in Celtics rotation?

Marcus Morris was traded to the Boston Celtics by the Detroit Pistons back in July. The Celtics sent Avery Bradley and a 2019 second-round pick to the Pistons in an effort to shed some salary and bring on another frontcourt player. Morris will make $5 million this season and then roughly $5.4 million for the 2018-19 NBA season. Last season with the Pistons, Morris started 79 games, averaging 14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game.

When it comes to Boston Celtics rumors about the projected starting lineup, Morris has a shot to become the starting power forward. He will have two preseason games to prove to Brad Stevens that he deserves a shot at the role, but it will be tough coming into camp late. Other big men on the team include Al Horford, Aron Baynes, Guerschon Yabusele, and Daniel Theis.

While Morris is best at small forward, the Celtics gave Gordan Hayward a long-term contract to be that guy.

Pressure is on the Celtics to perform

There had been a lot of Boston Celtics rumors during the NBA offseason, culminating in the team acquiring All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder.

The pressure is on not only Irving to prove that he can win without the help of LeBron James, but also a Celtics team that has raised expectations for the fanbase. The free agent signing of Gordon Hayward has also applied pressure to a front office that has the assets to compete.

Friday night (Oct. 6), Joel Embiid will be making his preseason debut for the Philadelphia 76ers. It means a team trying to surpass the Celtics this year is close to being at full-strength again. That should make this a very interesting game, even if Marcus Morris can’t play. Both teams will still be chasing an improved Cleveland Cavaliers team that just added Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade in free agency. Can the Boston Celtics gel right out of the gate and make a run to the top of the Eastern Conference standings?