Pregame Post-Ups: C’s G League Affiliate Acquires Former No. 1 Pick Bennett

Thursday, Dec. 28 - Rockets at Celtics

Pregame – C’s G League Affiliate Acquires 2013 No. 1 Pick, Bennett

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics’ G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, announced Thursday that they have traded for 2013 No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Anthony Bennett.

Maine received Bennett and a 2018 third-round G League draft pick to the Northern Arizona Suns in exchange for Wesley Lowry and a second-round selection.

While the Red Claws are Boston’s affiliate team, the Celtics do not own Bennett’s rights. This means that any NBA team can technically claim the 24-year-old forward at this point. By the same token, the Celtics will be able to gain greater knowledge about Bennett considering their connection to the Portland-based club.

Red Claws head coach Brandon Bailey and lead assistant coach Alex Barlow are former Celtics video coordinators, who were under the watch of C’s coach Brad Stevens for a few years in Boston. In their transition to Maine, they have implemented a Celtics-esque style of play with the Red Claws, which allows Stevens to see how players perform in a system that is nearly identical to his.

“We look at Brandon and Alex and their staff as a part of our staff,” Stevens said Thursday evening before tipping off against the Houston Rockets. “We’re in constant contact with those guys, and they do what we do. So it’s a real benefit.”

Stevens believes the opportunity to play in Maine will be beneficial for Bennett, as well.

“We all know that the G League is being evaluated every day by every team’s scouts,” said Stevens. “So, regardless of for your organization, or for the other 29, it’s a good thing for the player. And then for us it’s great because it gives us a chance to coach guys and be around guys and learn about guys that you don’t know as much about until you’re really around them and coaching them.”

Bennett, who was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the top pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, has played in 151 NBA games spanned over four seasons, while averaging 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. He had been averaging 11.7 PPG and 5.6 RPG this season with Northern Arizona prior to the trade.

While it’s uncertain whether or not Bennett will earn a future role with the Celtics, this move, at the very least, gives Boston a closeup look at a young player who was once deemed one of the most talented prospects of his draft class.

- Taylor Snow