PORTLAND – From an original Maine Red Claws roster of 12 players, only four remain.
Players have been traded and released as the Red Claws search for the magic combination that will bring a first-ever NBA D-League playoff appearance.
The Red Claws (21-19) are in a battle for a postseason spot with 10 games to go. Maine plays host to the East Division-leading Canton Charge (23-15) at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The Red Claws lost a 91-87 decision to Canton on Friday night. Maine incorporated two of its recently-acquired guards, Curtis Jerrells and Josh Selby.
“I was just here for the shootaround,” Jerrells said Friday night. Despite that, Jerrells played more minutes (28) than any other Maine guard.
Jerrells, 6-foot-1, was the third-leading scorer in Baylor history (1,820) and was on the training camp roster of the San Antonio Spurs in 2009 and 2010. He was a D-League All-Star in 2010 for the Austin Toros. Since then, Jerrells has played in Serbia and Turkey.
THE FOUR REMAINING players from the original active roster are Micah Downs, Omar Reed, Chris Wright and Fab Melo.
Of the other eight, two were traded (Chris Ayer and Kris Joseph), one is in the NBA (Shelvin Mack, with the Atlanta Hawks), one was injured (Xavier Silas, a separated shoulder that required surgery), and four were released (Raheem Singleton, Brian Cusworth, Scott VanderMeer and Champ Oguchi).
Oguchi requested his release so he could join Spartak-Primorie of the Russian Professional Basketball League
“I really enjoyed playing on this Maine Red Claws team,” Oguchi said in an email. “It is probably the best team that I have been a part of.
“However, the opportunity to play in a premier league is something that may only occur once in a player’s career and you have to seize it.”
DAJUAN SUMMERS was the leading scorer in the All-Star Game, yet he cannot crack the Red Claws’ starting lineup because of the presence of Chris Wright and Fab Melo in the post. Summers is usually the first one off the bench and still gets his points.
“I feel like I play well when my minutes are good,” Summers said. “I’ve been professional about coach’s approach to changing the minutes and starting and not starting. As long as we win.
“The team changes so much. Guys going up and down. Lot of different things we’ve faced as a team. Everyone has to adjust.”
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: