BOSTON -- E'Twaun Moore was surprised when he heard the news. He had been expecting to be told the Boston Celtics were picking up his contract. Instead, they informed him he had been traded to the Houston Rockets.
"I was just surprised," Moore said in his first return to the TD Garden on Friday. "Of course I didn't know it was about to happen. At the moment I was just shocked."
Moore had posted 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists in his final Las Vegas Summer League game and thought he had shown enough to earn a spot on the Celtics roster this season. Even though he played limited minutes his rookie year, he demonstrated his potential when given the opportunity on the court.
The Celtics were eyeing another guard, though. They packaged Moore, JaJuan Johnson, Sasha Pavlovic, and Sean Williams in a multi-team deal that sent Courtney Lee to Boston in late July. The Rockets then waived Moore shortly after, leaving the former 55th overall pick looking for a job.
Unsure of where he would end up, Moore believed he would land on an NBA team. In September, the Orlando Magic signed him as a free agent and gave him the chance to put what he had learned out on the floor.
Moore is averaging 8.8 points, 2.5 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game this season, including 14 points and four rebounds in the Magic's 97-84 loss to the Celtics.
"I knock down shots, play the backup point, try to help facilitate the team when I'm in," he said. "My knowledge of the game is a lot better this year. I have more of an idea of what's going on and plays teams are trying to run. From a mental standpoint, I have a better feel for what's going on."
Moore spent most of his rookie season watching the Celtics veterans from the sidelines. Now that he has the opportunity to play increased minutes, he is utilizing all the wisdom and mental notes he gained during his year in Boston.
"I'm just trying to put it all together on the court," he said.