Giddens assigned to Red Claws

The Boston Celtics assigned guard J.R. Giddens to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League Thursday.

Giddens, the Celtics first-round pick (30th overall) in the 2008 draft, has appeared in 21 games this season. He spent part of last season with the Utah Flash of the NBDL, averaging 17.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3 assist per game over 26 appearances.

Giddens drew a spot start, the first of his NBA career, on Jan. 2, while Paul Pierce was sidelined with a right knee infection. Since then, the 6-foot-5 guard out of New Mexico has played 17 minutes, 16 of which came in a lopsided win over the New Jersey Nets last week.

Earlier this year, the Celtics declined their team option on Giddens, which will make him an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Giddens, who is making little more than $1 million this season, could potentially be used as a trade chip based on his expiring deal.

Why send Giddens down?

With the Celtics set to welcome back Kevin Garnett on Friday, that means someone on the active roster is sliding down to an inactive spot. Including Giddens, the Celtics were at 14 players, with Marquis Daniels sidelined through the All-Star break after left thumb surgery. That means, even with Giddens' assignment, the Celtics will have 12 healthy (or as healthy as the Celtics can be at this point) bodies for Friday's game.

The Celtics also play just two games over the next seven days (Friday and Monday), while the Red Claws play five games in six days, offering Giddens a chance to really log quality court time and potentially join the team again in an emergency situation.