November 30, 2012

Red Claws turn Celtics green

It's the first year of partnering only with Boston, a 'dream scenario' for Maine's team

By Kevin Thomas
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 2)

click image to enlarge

Danny Ainge, president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics, visits the Maine Red Claws front office last June in Portland. Under a new single-affiliation agreement, the Celtics run basketball operations for Maine’s team.

2012 Press Herald file/Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Fab Melo
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The 7-foot Fab Melo is one of two Celtics rookies playing for the Red Claws to begin the year. His college teammate at Syracuse, Kris Joseph, is the other.

The Associated Press

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NBA D-League basketball teams have a minimum of 10 players on their rosters. A maximum of three NBA players can be added to a D-League team, for a total of 13. This is how a team is assembled (including players on this year’s Red Claws team):

Returning players: Teams can invite players from their rosters in previous years (Justin Brownlee, Champ Oguchi, Xavier Silas, Chris Wright).

Tryout players: Teams can invite players from open tryouts held before the season (none on Maine’s team).

Draft: The league conducts an eight-round draft of available players who have signed D-League contracts (Shelvin Mack, Omar Reed, Scott VanderMeer).

Trade: Deals for players can be made with other D-League teams (Chris Ayer).

Affiliate players: A player who is cut from his NBA team in the preseason can join that team’s D-League affiliate (Brian Cusworth, Micah Downs).

Assigned players: NBA players with two years of experience or less can be assigned to the affiliated D-League team (Kris Joseph, Fab Melo).


Stories, photos, bios and more on our Red Claws page.

"There's communication every day," Taylor said. "I send a Red Claws report to Austin. Plus, our video guy has created a system where the Celtics can watch our practice every day."

And when the Celtics send young players to Portland to gain experience, those players see the same coaching style they got in Boston.

"Same offensive scheme and defensive scheme," said Joseph, a second-round NBA draft pick in 2012. "Every day I'm out there developing my game."

The Celtics also can use the Red Claws for rehab assignments. Guard Avery Bradley has nearly recovered from two shoulder surgeries in the off-season. He might play a game or two in Maine to fine-tune his game before playing for the Celtics.

"It's possible," he said. "I may need to go there to get comfortable and come back (to Boston) fresh."

Bradley has been in Maine. As a rookie in 2010-11, he was sent to Portland and played nine games.

He is now the only former Red Claws player on the Celtics roster.

Action shots of Bradley -- in Red Claws and Celtics uniforms -- grace the cover of the 2012-13 Red Claws media guide.

Red Claws. Celtics.

The local basketball team in Portland wants to make sure you see the connection. 

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH


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