The Boston Celtics are currently over capacity with 16 guaranteed contracts for the 2015-16 season. But that won't stop the team from adding as many as four more bodies in the coming weeks with a goal of funneling those players to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League.
Each NBA team is allowed to assign its training camp cuts to its D-League affiliate -- provided those players are willing to sign with the league when more money could be made overseas. Essentially it's a way for NBA teams to get intriguing young talent into their system and mold them a bit with the potential for call-up down the road. What's more, Sports Illustrated reported this week that teams can assign as many as four camp cuts this season (up from three in past years).
A recent example of this happened two years ago, when the Celtics funneled undrafted Chris Babb to Maine. He was a late-season addition to Boston's roster each of the past two seasons despite spending most of those years with the Red Claws.
The low-paying nature of the D-League makes it tough to entice prime unsigned talent. In an ideal world, the Celtics would love to take someone like summer league standout Jonathan Holmes and push him through to the D-League with no room for him on the NBA roster. But the undrafted Holmes played so well at summer league that he'll almost certainly be on some NBA radars and can earn a much heftier salary if he's willing to trek overseas should no NBA opportunity immediately arise.
The Celtics have reportedly extended a training camp invite to swingman Levi Randolph. The undrafted Alabama product worked out for Boston before the draft, and the team got another up-close glimpse of him when he participated with the Utah Jazz in the Las Vegas Summer League. In 10 summer league appearances overall, Randolph averaged 4.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists during 20.5 minutes per game.
Expect the Celtics to target other camp invitees with the specific goal of pushing them through to Maine. Boston already has a young roster filled with recent draft picks, and, with these affiliated players from camp, the Celtics are hopeful the Red Claws can help accelerate the development of talent that might one day help the parent club.