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What Avery Bradley’s D-League assigment means for the Celtics

01.14.11 at 3:20 pm ET
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Avery Bradley

As expected, the Celtics assigned rookie guard Avery Bradley to their D-League affiliate in Maine, Friday. Bradley has played in just two game since Rajon Rondo returned from an ankle injury, and he has logged only four minutes total when he played.

The Celtics are sending Bradley to Maine, who is coached by Danny Ainge‘s son Austin, to get him on the court. Bradley missed all of the summer and most of training camp following ankle surgery and while he filled in admirably during desperate situations, he also clearly has a lot to learn. He’s appeared in 14 games with four assists and nine turnovers in just 66 minutes of action.

Since this is the first D-League assignment of the season, we thought it would be helpful to preemptively answer a few questions:

1. Does this move affect the Celtics roster?

No.

The Celtics have 15 players under contract, the maximum allowed by the NBA, and Bradley’s assignment does nothing to change that. The D-League is not a true minor league in this regard.

In other words, this doesn’t mean the Celtics can sign a veteran free agent while Bradley is in the D-League. They can’t.

2. Why send him to the D-League?

Bradley needs games and practices and he wasn’t getting enough of either in Boston. This allows him the chance to get both, while working on his point guard skills. They can also bring him back at any time.

3. Is Maine the Celtics version of Pawtucket?

Yes and no, but mainly no.

The Celtics have an affiliation agreement with Maine. That means that when they send any of their eligible players — that also includes Luke Harangody and Semih Erden — to the D-League, they are automatically assigned to the Red Claws. The Celtics share an affiliation with the Charlotte Bobcats, meaning both teams can send their first or second-year players to the Red Claws. Most D-League teams operate with dual affiliation agreements.

Where it differs is that the rest of the Maine roster is made up of players who are eligible to be signed by any other NBA team.

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