Every year, each NBA D-League teams travels to one location for the D-League Showcase. Each team plays twice while there in a carnival-style format. While the Showcase was originally intended as a chance for NBA scouts to see all the D-League teams and players in one place, it’s become a heavily-marketed fan-oriented event, as well. 16 D-League games will be played in four days in Boise, Idaho.
Maine, of course, is headed off to the first Showcase in team history holding on to the second-best record in the D-League behind the Iowa Energy. The Red Claws will face off against the L.A. D-Fenders at 3:45PM EST on Monday, then play Sioux Falls at 1PM EST Tuesday. Maine has not yet played LA this season, and has not played Sioux Falls since their opening day loss. These games will both be broadcast on NBA TV, along with a few others, though not every game. If you do watch the Maine-LA game Monday, keep an eye on former Celtic Gabe Pruitt, now with the D-Fenders. Unfortunately, those D-League games broadcast on NBA TV will not be shown for free online, like most are.
This is an important weekend for D-Leaguers. While it’s not as important for NBA assignees like Alexis Ajinca, especially if they have a guaranteed contract, it is a very big deal for guys like Trey Gilder. It’s no coincidence that the Showcase is the same week as a number of important player movement dates in the NBA. NBA teams can begin signing players – including free-agent D-Leaguers – to 10-day contracts beginning Tuesday. NBAers with non-guaranteed contracts should learn their fates Wednesday. This can sometimes result in non-guaranteed NBAers having their contracts not picked up, seeing some D-League time, then getting 10-day contracts.
It’s also important for all of Maine’s new D-League fans, as there could be major roster changes next week. The question will be whether the Red Claws will emerge largely intact or, if there are changes, whether they can continue to be a dominant team following some upheaval. No doubt Red Claws staff will be keeping an eye on other team’s players and soon-to-be-released NBAers, just in case. Maine may also see more NBA assignees from Boston or Charlotte in the coming days.
NOTES: The next true home game (and our next recap) will be against the 2-11 Springfield Armor on 8PM Friday.