Boston Celtics could benefit from G-League talent in Maine

Former Houston Rocket Chris Clemons currently plays for the Maine Celtics. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Former Houston Rocket Chris Clemons currently plays for the Maine Celtics. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Chris Clemons has three new teammates. On Tuesday it was announced that Aaron Nesmith, Nik Stauskas and Malik Fitts were assigned to the Maine Celtics as the Boston Celtics are getting them playing time that they couldn’t get in Boston’s rotation.

For Nesmith, he needs some time to regain his conditioning after being sidelined with a sprained ankle. Boston wants Stauskas, a five-year NBA veteran, ready in case they need him to play competitive minutes, instead of garbage time.

And Fitts…well, why not?

They’ll get plenty of minutes against the College Park Skyhawks. It’s a business trip for these three. But none of them would be the star of the show. Clemons has been ballin’ on another level since January.

Time for the Boston Celtics to give Chris Clemons some play

It started on January 22, when he went 10-15 from behind the arc, pouring in 38 points off the bench with five rebounds, four assists and zero turnovers.

Everybody gets lucky sometimes, right? Is a 38-14-14 triple-double luck? He did that February 10th to the Wisconsin Herd, which had former Celtics draft pick Tremont Waters opposing him. The following game against the Greensboro Swarm, Clemons was in 3D again: 19 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists.

It was the first time in G League history that a player had back-to-back triple doubles. It earned Clemons G League Player of the Week honors. To celebrate, Clemons notched his third straight triple-double: 21-10-14 against the Skyhawks.

Related Story. Props to Brad Stevens for team’s rise up the East. light

Clemons comes from Campbell University, a private Christian institution in North Carolina. He finished his decorated Fighting Camels career the 2018-19 Big South player of the year, first team all-conference and the Big South all-tournament team. He was Campbell’s first men’s basketball All-American selection at the Division I level.

Despite Clemons’ production, he went undrafted. Being just 5’9” might not had been why Clemons didn’t have his name called, but it didn’t help his cause. He had a few cups of coffee in the big league, but has been unable to stick. He played 14 games for the Rio Grande Vipers in 2019-20 and has been with Maine this season.

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The reality is Clemons shouldn’t be with the Maine Celtics. After the trade deadline, Boston needed to fill out the roster. Sam Hauser made sense since he was on a two-way contract. But Fitts, Matt Ryan and Luke Kornet?

Stauskas scores 100 points in two games for Grand Rapids and gets signed by Boston, but home grown product Clemons still hasn’t got a ticket to North Station despite this resume:

2/24: 37-8-11 against the Grand Rapids Gold

3/6: 41-5-8 against the Raptors 905

3/10: 18-12-12 against the Motor City Cruise

3/13: 41-7-4 against the Wisconsin Herd

3/17: 52-11-3 against the Lakeland Magic

What else does Clemons have to prove?

On Tuesday night, Nesmith, Stauskas and Fitts got their minutes off the bench, and all had a negative plus/minus. Clemons remained in the starting lineup and dropped 25-3-4 and a plus-5.

Nesmith, Stauskas and Fitts will rejoin the parent club in Boston soon. Clemons will remain in Portland, waiting for a chance, which may not come in Boston.

Next. Celtics winning ways continue out west. dark

The Celtics have two guards playing overseas (Yam Madar, Juhann Begarin) and Denzel Valentine in Portland to keep an eye on. Clemons might be behind all three when it comes to Boston’s interests.

It would be nice to see Clemons dressed and on the Boston Celtics bench one day. It would be magical to see him swish a bucket after Gino danced on the Jumbotron. Heck, being on the Summer League team would be a deserving treat, a glimmer of hope that Clemons will achieve his dream of making the Boston Celtics roster.

Until then, the show goes on.