With another two and a half months until the NBA Development League Draft, it is important to remember what this league is all about. The Maine Red Claws have done an excellent job developing NBA talent in Portland Maine. This slideshow is a look back at all of the players that the Red Claws have sent to the NBA.
The NBA Development League is different than other sports' minor leagues. The players sign contracts with the league, not the team they are playing for. Therefore, a player can be called up to any NBA team, not just the parent club(s) of the team they are currently playing for. The exception to this is if a player's NBA rights are owned already, such as an assigned player or a player like Pierre Jackson, whose rights were owned by New Orleans during the 2013-14 season, leaving other teams unable to sign him while he was in the NBADL.
The Red Claws have sent eight players to the NBA over their first five seasons, with over 22 contracts being signed (15 of them were 10-day contracts, seven were full season deals).
Chris Wright signed with the Milwaukee Bucks after playing out two 10-day contracts in 2014. In 2011, Wright signed for the full season with the Golden State Warriors. Wright is Maine's all-time leader in points (1755), rebounds (807), blocked shots (135) and steals (116). He is third overall in assists (135), trailing Kenny Hayes (327) and Jamar Smith (241)
Chris Babb signed with the Boston Celtics after two 10-day contracts in 2014. Babb is the only player the Celtics have ever signed from their D-League affiliate. Babb, who was in preseason training camp with the Celtics, opted to play for the Red Claws as an affiliate player after he was cut, earning his way back to the team with defense and teamwork.
Dajuan Summers returned to the NBA after playing with the Detroit Pistons and the New Orleans Hornets, but not without making a 29 game stop in Portland, Maine. Summers played out two 10-day contracts before signing for the remainder of the 2012-13 season with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Shelvin Mack earned a lot of frequent flyer miles in the 2012-13 season. Having played the previous season with the Washington Wizards as John Wall's back-up, Mack signed a 10-day contract with the Wizards on December 24, 2012. Returning to Maine, Mack played with the Red Claws until January 17, 2013 before earning the first of two 10-day contracts with the Philadelphia 76ers. After one more brief stop in Maine, the Atlanta Hawks signed Mack to two more 10-day contracts before inking a multi-year deal. Mack is still with Atlanta.
Xavier Silas was the first affiliate player to earn an NBA call-up from the Red Claws after returning to the 76ers team that cut him from their 2011-12 training camp. Silas was with the Sixers as they took on the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics in the 2012 Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Morris Almond was a prolific scorer for the Red Claws in the 2011-12 season before earning a call-up to the Washington Wizards. No stranger to the NBA, Almond played two seasons with the Utah Jazz before coming to the Red Claws.
Magnum Rolle has an interesting NBA story to tell. Drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round of the 2010 draft, he was traded to the Indiana Pacers and released after summer league. Opting to stay in the D-League, Rolle joined the Maine Red Claws where he earned a contract with the Atlanta Hawks. Never making an appearance in a game, the Hawks brought Rolle back to training camp after the 2011 NBA lockout ended, but released him before the season began. Rolle then signed with the Orlando Magic, but was released after the 2012 summer league.
Mario West was the first Red Claw to earn an NBA call-up,signing two 10-day contracts with the Atlanta Hawks and then signing for the remainder of the 2010 season. West was no stranger to Atlanta, where he had played the two previous seasons. After 2010, West returned to the Red Claws where he would appear in 42 games before earning a 10-day contract with the New Jersey Nets.
The Maine Red Claws are the NBA Development League affiliate of the Boston Celtics.