Tuesday January 08, 2013 | 06:32 AM

A key part of the Maine Red Claws' early success was their first-round draft pick, point guard Shelvin Mack.

He was averaging 20.2 points and 7.1 assists and appeared to be getting better and better. Then the Washington Wizards signed him on Christmas.

The Wizards, whom Mack played for all last season, needed help with guards John Wall and A.J. Price injured.

Mack played seven games, starting two. He averaged 5.3 points and 3.3 assists. But Mack was waived Monday. Both Wall and Price are again practicing and if the Wizards kept Mack beyond Monday, they would have had to guarantee his contract for the rest of the year (the same reasoning behind the Celtics waiving Kris Joseph on Sunday).

Now the Red Claws wait to see if Mack and/or Joseph decide to return to the D-League, with Maine.

Meanwhile, the Red Claws play their first game today in the D-League showcase in Reno, Nev. Maine plays the Tulsa 66ers at 6: 30 p.m. (on the web at www.redclaws.com and on the radio at 96.3 FM).

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court

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