With the 2014 NBA Training Camp beginning on September 30th, the Maine Red Claws will feature nine alumni on NBA rosters. The Red Claws, NBADL affiliate of the Boston Celtics, have three players with their parent club, three with the Washington Wizards and one each with the Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans and Atlanta Hawks.
Rajon Rondo: Rondo, the highest profile assignment player to ever suit up in the NBADL, joined the Maine Red Claws on January 15, 2014 for a rehab assignment with the Red Claws at the Celtics practice facility in Waltham. Though the session was closed to media, several Red Claws players spoke highly of the experience and knowledge that Rondo brought to the team. Recalled after 113 minutes, Rondo’s tutelage led to improved play from Red Claws point guard Abdul Gaddy and call-ups for Chris Babb (to the Celtics, who released him five days ago) and Chris Wright (to the Bucks).
Avery Bradley: Bradley was assigned to the Red Claws in the 2010-11 season for nine games, posting averages of 17.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 3.0 steals per game. Bradley also set the NBADL record for steals in a single game with 9 on 1/30/11 against the Tulsa 66ers in front of a sold-out Portland Expo Building crowd.
Vitor Faverani was assigned to the Red Claws for four games during the 2013-14 season, scoring 19 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and 1.3 blocks per game. Faverani was also a positive influence on the team, buying into the system and hustling on every play. He will be rejoining the Celtics in training camp after spending the second half of the season on the disabled list from a knee injury suffered on 2/4/14 in a Red Claws game against the Delaware 87ers.
Xavier Silas: Joining the Red Claws after attending training camp with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2011, Silas averaged 9.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in the 2011-12 Red Claws campaign, earning himself a call-up to the 76ers for the 2011-12 playoffs, where he advanced to the second round. Returning to the team in 2012, Silas averaged 12.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 33 games before being side lined for the remainder of the season with an injury. After spending the 2013-14 season in Israel, Silas is currently with the Washington Wizards for training camp.
Vander Blue: Called up by the Boston Celtics from the Delaware 87ers in 2014 for a ten day contract, Blue was assigned to the Red Claws on the final day of that contract to face his former team. Blue scored 13 points and handed out four assists in the game, but did not earn a contract renewal from the Celtics. He returned to the 87ers after that game ended. In the 2013-14 season, Blue spent time with the 76ers, 87ers, Celtics, Red Claws and Idaho Stampede. Blue will try to earn a spot on the Wizards roster this October as a member of their training camp roster.
Daniel Orton: One of five players selected in the first round of the 201 NBA draft out of Kentucky, Orton has had a long path through several NBA and NBADL teams. He began his career in Orlando, spending three seasons with the team (including an assignment to the now defunct New Mexico Thunderbirds in 2010). In 2012, Orton was signed by the Oklahoma City Thunder and spent the 2012-13 season shuttling back and forth between the Thunder and the Tulsa 66ers. In 2013, Orton spent three months with the 76ers before being released. Tulsa, still holding his NBADL rights, traded him to Maine where he averaged 11.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.1 blocks over 24 games before leaving the team for personal reasons. After a successful stint with the Wizards in Summer League, Orton joined their training camp roster for 2014.
Shelvin Mack: Mack, who earned call-ups to the Wizards, 76ers and Atlanta Hawks in the 2012-13 season after averaging 20.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 7.6 assists with the Red Claws, Mack has been a mainstay with the Hawks since earning his call-up on 3/6/13. Mack, who spent the 2011-12 season in Washington as John Wall’s backup, After spending a season and a half as a backup in Atlanta, Mack moved into the starting role during the 2013-14 season.
Chris Wright: Wright, who spent parts of three seasons with the Red Claws, earned his first NBA call-up in 2011 when the Golden State Warriors claimed him from the Portland squad and shuffled him back and forth between Oakland and their now-defunct D-League affiliate the Dakota Wizards. Wright spent all of the 2012-13 season with the Red Claws and 41 appearances in 2013-14. After a brief stint with the Bucks in March, Wright earned a multi-year contract with the Bucks in April and returns to the team for training camp this season. Wright holds the Red Claws record for career points (1,755), blocks (135), rebounds (807) and steals (116). He is third all-time in assists (185).
Alexis Ajinca: The second player ever assigned to the Red Claws, Ajinca joined the team in 2009 from the Charlotte Bobcats. He averaged 14.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 22 games with the Red Claws. He split time between Dallas and Toronto during the 2010-11 season before spending two seasons in Germany with Strasbourg. After a successful stint in Pelicans training camp in 2013, Ajinca spent last season with the team and returned to their training camp this season.