On Monday the Celtics and Maine Red Claws agreed to extend their exclusive partnership, which began in 2012, through the 2017-18 season. The Celtics are one of only 18 NBA teams to have one of these exclusive partnerships with a D-League team. The contract allows the Celtics to hand-pick a coaching staff, the roster, and gives the C’s the ability to assign players from their NBA roster to the Red Claws.
Red Claws head coach Scott Morrison uses a similar system to the one used by Celtics head coach Brad Stevens which is important when trying to develop NBA talents. Players that aren’t quite ready for the big stage get a chance to play against high-level competition while also learning a system similar to the one they would most likely play under if/when they make the transition to the NBA. It’s worth noting that Morrison won D-League Coach of the Year last season after posting a 35-15 record.
Players such as Chris Babb, Marcus Smart, Phil Pressey, and James Young have played for the Red Claws in the past and after a lack-luster showing in the summer league, it is likely that Young could spend some time in Portland again this season. The Celtics also have three rookies, Terry Rozier, Jordan Mickey, and RJ Hunter who could see time with the Red Claws in the near future. If I had to guess I’d say at least two of them will play a majority of the season there, dependent on injuries and what the roster looks like closer to opening night.
According to the Boston Globe, the Celtics have agreed to non-guaranteed deals with four undrafted guards; Coty Clarke (Arkansas), Corey Walden (Eastern Kentucky), Levi Randolph (Alabama), and Malcolm Miller (Holy Cross). These four guards have been invited to training camp, although it is unlikely any of them will make the regular season roster. After training camp Boston has the ability to assign up to four released players to Maine for the D-League season, so it is likely that these are the four candidates.