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Boston Celtics To Enter Hybrid Partnership With NBA D-League's Maine Red Claws

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The Boston Celtics will need to retool and get younger at some point in the near future and, apparently, they've decided that the NBA Development League might be able to help them along in that regard. Danny Ainge's team is such a believer, in fact, that Ridiculous Upside has learned that Boston is buying the basketball operations of the Maine Red Claws.

The NBA team and its D-League affiliate have had a pretty close relationship since the Red Claws were formed in 2009, but they'll of course be even closer once the Celtics finalize the "hybrid" partnership in the coming weeks.

While the partnership might not create a world of difference in its initial stages, it certainly won't hurt Boston that they'll have a D-League team just two hours away in Portland, Maine, where they'll hire the coaching staff, control the transactions and do whatever else their little heart's desire once the deal becomes official. Boston will start with a clean slate in that department, too, as head coach Dave Leitao recently decided to take his talents back to the college level before general manager Jon Jennings decided to resign later in the day.

The Celtics' most prominent use of the D-League came when Boston assigned Avery Bradley to the Red Claws to get some seasoning for nine game last year -- under current director of player personnel Austin Ainge (then the team's head coach). There are quite a few other things Boston can do rather than simple assignments, though, as the Oklahoma City Thunder have shown with their use of the Tulsa 66ers.

Boston is now part of a growing fraternity of NBA teams with direct partnerships with a D-League team as ten other teams own either their entire D-League franchise or have gone the "hybrid" arrangement.