This could be the best Maine Celtics season ever

Oct 5, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Mfiondu Kabengele (28). Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 5, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Mfiondu Kabengele (28). Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s possible the Boston Celtics could win two championships this year.

Obviously the NBA Celtics are title contenders, but it looks like the Maine Celtics roster can compete for the G-League title.

Start with Denzel Valentine. He returns to Portland for a second season, ready to stuff the stat sheet. He might be the starter on opening night, but he has competition.

2022 second round draft pick J.D. Davison showed glimpses of his raw talent during the NBA Summer League. He needs playing time to develop, so Davison could put Valentine on the bench if Davison cleans up his fast-paced game and reduces his errors.

Mfiondu Kabengele starred for the Celtics during the Summer League as well, earning a two-way contract in the process. He thrived in the G-League last year, playing his best in the championship series and leading the Rio Grande Vipers to the league championship.

Further bolstering the inside is Luka Samanic, a possible late bloomer. The former first round pick turned heads during the Showcase Cup when he averaged almost 28 points per game over seven games.

More. Malcolm Brogdon, the missing piece to the championship puzzle. light

The most intriguing addition is Reginald Kissoonlal. The 7-footer led the Denmark – Ligaen in points and blocks per game (20.4, 2.85).

Add some shooting the spread the floor (Roxbury native AJ Reeves) and this Maine Celtics squad, if it remains together through the season, could make some noise in 2022-23.

The 2022-23 Maine Celtics could have the best season in franchise history

In 13 seasons of existence, the Red Claws/Maine Celtics made the playoffs four times, advancing as far as the conference finals in 2016-17. Team leaders in games played that season were Coron Williams (50), Authur Edwards (47), Jalen Jones (46), and Marcus Georges-Hunt (45). All four were undrafted.

Compare that to the 2022-23 squad. Just the players named above includes three former first round picks and a second round selection.

Not saying the ‘16-17 squad didn’t have draft talent. They had Guerschon Yabusele (16th overall, 2016), and second rounders Ryan Kelly, Abdel Nader, Damion Lee, Jordan Mickey and Demetrius Jackson. Only Nader and Jackson played more than 30 games with the Red Claws.

Next. Sam Hauser is a sharpshooter on the rise. dark

Maybe the ’16-17 team would had been better if Yabusele, Mickey and Kelly played more than the 22 combined games with the Red Claws. Hopefully this year’s top talents get the chance the ‘16-17 team didn’t.

Kabengele’s championship experience could be very valuable for his teammates to learn from. Davison showed his potential in a 28-point 10-assist performance in a Summer League game. If Samanic plays like it’s the Showcase Cup every game, he would complete a three-headed attack that’s tough to handle.

The Maine Celtics have great depth inside, something past teams couldn’t claim. It’s a good mix of young potential and veteran poise. How much they split their time between Boston and Portland will factor into their results. But if they stay together, the Maine Celtics could go far.