The other guys preparing for the Celtics’ training camp weren’t sure what to make of Trey Davis.

They knew he was Marcus Smart’s buddy, a guy who accompanied the Celtics’ guard to offseason workouts in Waltham, outside Boston.

“I remember the first time we were in the weight room, Trey was there,” said Andrew White, who played for Syracuse last season. “The first time we did conditioning, Trey was there. So he wasn’t there just playing pickup and having a good time.”

Davis, a 2016 graduate of UMass who grew up with Smart in Dallas, is one of 11 players vying for six roster spots with the Maine Red Claws, who begin their ninth season in the newly-renamed G League on Friday night at the Portland Expo.

He’s a wiry 180-pound guard who stands 6 feet tall, heaves 3-pointers from his chest and tends to get overlooked by scouts.

“We would need extra bodies, so he would jump in with us,” said L.J. Peak, who like White and two-way players Kadeem Allen and Jabari Bird arrived in Waltham in late August prior to Celtics training camp. “And he actually looked good.”


Davis joined in drills with the players under contract to the Celtics, and coaches noted that not only did he hold his own, he found a way to be successful.

“We’d do something competitive,” said Red Claws Coach Brandon Bailey, “and he would win, or he would be right there in the mix to win. He’s a guy that’s not necessarily the biggest or the most talented, but to me, he’s a catalyst.”

The Red Claws held an intrasquad scrimmage Monday in Waltham, with Bird and forward Marcus Morris – who immediately rejoined the Celtics – joining the action. Bird, who already has played in two Celtics games, and Allen are expected to be mainstays for the Red Claws. White, Peak, Daniel Dixon and Daniel Ochefu (who played 19 games for the NBA Wizards last season) are also expected to get plenty of minutes.

That leaves six slots for draftees, returning players (including Malcolm Miller and Asauhn Dixon-Tatum) and four players signed through tryouts. That last avenue isn’t especially well traveled, but recent role players who thrived from such a beginning include Andre Stringer, Coron Williams and Arthur Edwards.

“He earned this opportunity,” said Remy Cofield, who has taken over from Dave Lewin as general manager of the Red Claws. “He was around the facility all summer long working out with Marcus. He improved, over the course of two months, immensely. Shooting the ball, understanding our offense, getting guys where they need to be on the floor, finding wide-open guys, and being a floor general.”

And that shot?


“It’s a little funky,” Cofield admitted. “He’s got the leg kick. He’s got the push shot.”

And he’s got the personality, one that “you just glom onto,” Cofield said. “He’s great to be around.”

Davis and Smart grew up together in Dallas. They’ve known each other since second grade, went to different high schools, but played in the same AAU program.

Smart played college ball at Oklahoma State, declared for the draft after his sophomore year and wound up as the sixth overall pick in 2014 by the Celtics. Davis played four years at UMass, didn’t get drafted by either the NBA or its developmental league, but signed with the Canton Charge last season.

He played 19 minutes in his first game, dished out two assists and missed all three of his shots.

There wasn’t a second game. The Charge let him go. Instead of returning home to Texas, Davis joined Smart in Boston. He became a regular in Waltham and made an impression.


“I was originally supposed to go overseas, then the idea of joining the G League came up,” Davis said. “I knew they didn’t know much about me, about what I could do. I wanted to try to turn heads, and I think I did a good job of that.”

White is now a convert.

“He’s very deceptive,” White said. “He’s very quick and shifty. I’ve seen him in pickup with some of the Celtics players and he’s dominated games many times. You can’t say how he does it, but he does it.”

The roster for opening day must be settled by Thursday. Allen and Bird will be on it. Same with Dixon, Ochefu, White and Peak. And Davis?

“At this point,” White said, “you’ve got to put this guy on the team because he’s been one of us for the past two months.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.