Fans of the Maine Red Claws should pay close attention to Thursday night’s NBA draft.

There’s a good chance they’ll be seeing a lot of the players selected by the Boston Celtics, who have four picks in the two-round event.

A year ago, the Celtics chose Marcus Smart with the sixth overall pick and James Young with the 17th. Both first-rounders played for the Red Claws, albeit only one game for Smart. Young, on the other hand, played 19 games for Maine and logged more minutes than all but one of the six players the Red Claws selected in the NBA Development League draft. The one exception was forward Omari Johnson.

“I can’t speak for those guys in Boston,” said Red Claws Coach Scott Morrison, “but James was a late-teens pick and all four current picks are there or later, so there’s a good chance we’ll see them with the Red Claws.”

Morrison spoke by phone from poolside at his hotel on the island of Crete in Greece, where he is an assistant coach for Team Canada in the U19 FIBA world championships. Last month, he spent a week at the Celtics’ training facility in Waltham, Massachusetts, to help with workouts of potential draft picks. The Celtics hold the 16th and 28th (from the Clippers) picks in the first round and 33rd (from Philadelphia) and 45th in the second round.

Over the past month, they invited more than 60 players for workouts – some publicized and some not – in an effort to better evaluate their abilities and potential.

“We were trying to get a sense of who fits the characteristics that we want,” Morrison said. “One of the reasons I came in that first week was because there were a few guards that might be D-League type guys, late picks or guys that we might bring in (for summer league or training camp) if they’re not drafted.”

Tim Frazier, who wound up as Maine’s point guard and the D-League Most Valuable Player, was such a find. He worked out for the Celtics a year ago, played summer league with the 76ers but accepted an invitation to Boston’s training camp and signed with the Red Claws. He was one of two Red Claws called up to the NBA last season, twice with Philadelphia and then with his current team, the Portland Trail Blazers. The other Red Claw called up was Chris Babb, with Boston.

“Many of the best rookies in the D-League are guys who attempted to make an NBA team in an NBA training camp,” said Dave Lewin, the Celtics’ director of scouting who doubles as general manager of the Red Claws. “And after getting cut, they chose to play in the D-League.”

Another possibility for a player selected late in the second round is an overseas gig, should it become clear an NBA roster spot is not in the cards.

“It’s often a good situation for both parties,” Lewin said. “The player improves his market value because he’s an NBA draft pick and he can make some money playing overseas. In those leagues that end early, like China and Australia, they can come back (in March) and play in the D-League.”

Lewin has stayed in touch with most of the Red Claws and tries to help them find other opportunities to make a good living playing basketball. The D-League should be a steppingstone rather than a destination, he said, and he expects most of next season’s Red Claws to be new.

The coaching staff, led by Morrison, is expected to return.

“My option was picked up,” Morrison said. “So the only reason I wouldn’t be back in Maine is because physically I can’t do it or somebody wants me to be on their bench in the (NBA).”

As D-League Coach of the Year, Morrison was chosen to coach the D-League Select team in the Las Vegas Summer League that runs from July 10-20. Joining him will be Red Claws assistants Nate Mitchell, Seth Cooper, A.J. Diggs and Shaun Fein.

“I would expect there’ll be at least two, maybe three players from our organization,” on the Select roster, Lewin said. “But it’s not finalized yet.”

Lewin said the Celtics would also field a summer-league team in Las Vegas and, earlier in July, in Utah. The head coaches for those teams will be current Celtics assistants Jay Larranaga (Utah) and Micah Shrewsberry (Vegas).

On draft night, Lewin’s third with the Celtics after experiencing six with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston’s brain trust will huddle in a room at the Seaport Hotel in South Boston. Draft-day trades are likely, particularly given the stockpile of Celtics picks, including potentially four in the first round next year.

“It’s a fun part of the year,” Lewin said. “No matter how much you study it and research it, there’s always going to be tough ones and close ones. I love the culmination of the process.”