As mentioned again and again, the salaries of NBADL athletes (or lack there of) leave much to be desired. As a result, some of the league's better talent is lured overseas quite easily for more money.
On one hand, it's great to see such players achieving success and making a living by playing basketball. On the other hand, it's a shame that, at this point, they have to venture so far from home to be able to do it.
Last season, the Maine Red Claws' Omar Reed made strides in attempting to prove he was exactly the type of player the league enjoys developing. Playing for a team with a league-high five all-stars, Reed made sure his presence was felt by contributing in other ways besides scoring the basketball.
A truly scrappy forward, Reed was continuously found fighting for rebounds, keeping up with opponents on defense, etc. He did all the little things to help ensure the Red Claws' engine continued to run smoothly while many of his teammates were pouring in the points. Needless to say, he's the consummate team player. Such an effort showed, as Reed was trusted with a handful of spot-starts (over some of his bigger name teammates) throughout the season.
After watching him closely with the affiliated Red Claws, the Boston Celtics were right to like what they saw from Reed again and again. The forward played for Boston this past summer during NBA Summer League in Orlando.
But while the Celtics were intrigued, one cannot deny that guaranteed opportunities are often the most promising ones, regardless of where they appear.
Though according to a recent report, Boston was interested in inviting Reed to training camp, they couldn't offer much more than that at the time. With a return to Maine (had he gone through camp with Boston) imminent, Reed instead cashed in on a more lucrative opportunity in Japan. He's poised to do really well there, but in making such a choice, he by no means closed the door on his NBA dream coming to fruition in the near future.
According to Reed, Celtics' brass not only encouraged him to go to Japan, but also instructed him to stay in touch in hopes of perhaps keeping the door open for another opportunity next year, be it during Summer League or even training camp.
One never knows, but if one thing appears likely, it's that Reed is only set to continuing improving with a year abroad.