Damen Bell-Holter

D-League Notes: Draft, Douby, Liggins, C’s

The NBA D-League has released the official list of players eligible to be selected in tomorrow’s draft, which is set to take place at 7:00 pm ET in New York. There are plenty of intriguing names among the 180+ players hoping to be drafted, including a couple 2013 NBA draftees whose NBA rights are still held by their respective teams — Pierre Jackson (Pelicans) and Grant Jerrett (Thunder). Here’s more on the 2013 D-League draft class:

  • Potential top-10 picks include James Johnson, DeAndre Liggins, and Quincy Douby, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. Johnson and Liggins were recently released by the Hawks and Thunder, respectively, while Douby averaged 31.6 PPG in China last season, including one 75-point game.
  • There are a handful of international players eligible to be drafted, such as Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s brother Athanasios Antetokounmpo, tweets Givony. Givony adds in another tweet that there are prospects from Croatia and Japan in the draft pool as well.
  • Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside notes that former NBA veterans Ricky Davis and Salim Stoudamire are among the draft hopefuls.
  • The Maine Red Claws, the Celtics‘ D-League affiliate, announced 11 players on their camp roster today, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com (Twitter link). That list features Chris Babb, Damen Bell-Holter, and Kammron Taylor, who were in camp with Boston this month.

Celtics Rumors: Brooks, D-League, Osby

Jared Sullinger got some good news and bad news today, as Celtics GM Danny Ainge indicated that the team would pick up the forward’s third-year option for 2014/15. However, the team also announced that Sullinger would be suspended for a game to start the ’13/14 season. While Sullinger had domestic charges against him dismissed in court, the club elected to suspend him for one game for “failing to meet the high expectations we have for all Celtics employees.” As Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com writes, the former Buckeye understand and accepts the club’s decision.

Here’s more from out of Boston:

  • The Celtics don’t intend to exercise MarShon Brooks‘ fourth-year option, as we heard earlier today, and Forsberg has more details from Ainge on the team’s decision: “With MarShon, we haven’t enough chance to evaluate him in a fair way and so we probably won’t pick up his extension. But we will retain his Bird Rights and I’m sure he’ll get plenty of opportunities this year to see if he fits our system.”
  • According to Forsberg, Ainge would be open to all four Celtics camp invitees – Chris Babb, Damen Bell-Holter, DeShawn Sims and Kammron Taylor – joining the team’s D-League affiliate. NBA clubs are only allowed to retain the D-League rights for three players, but the Maine Red Claws already held Sims’ rights. Those players have yet to decide on whether to play in the D-League or pursue overseas jobs, so it’s not clear yet which ones will land in Maine.
  • The Red Claws are also trying to add another team’s camp invitee, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.com, who reports that the Celtics’ D-League affiliate is attempting to obtain the rights to Romero Osby. Because Osby attended camp with Orlando, his rights belong to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, but the Magic share their D-League affiliate with five other NBA clubs, so their influence is limited. According to Charania, Osby is finalizing a D-League deal, and while the Celtics are in the lead to acquire his rights, the Warriors, Thunder, Spurs, and Nets have also expressed interest.
  • Ainge also suggested today that Jordan Crawford won’t be extended by Thursday, but a new deal for Avery Bradley is still a possibility.

Celtics Release Sims, Taylor, Bell-Holter

The Celtics have trimmed their roster to 15 players, according to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe, who tweets that the team has released camp invitees DeShawn Sims, Kammron Taylor, and Damen Bell-Holter. All three players were on fully non-guaranteed contracts and won’t count against the team’s cap.

We heard last night that the Celtics intend to carry a 14-man roster into the season, preferring to keep one spot open rather than filling it with a non-guaranteed player. So while Chris Babb, the team’s final non-guaranteed camp invitee, remains under contract for now, he’ll likely be waived as well within the next few days.

Sims, Taylor, and Bell-Holter are all candidates to land with the Celtics’ D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

Eastern Notes: Celtics, Bulls, Bucks

A few notes from around the Eastern Conference.

  • According to a tweet from Boston Globe scribe Baxter Holmes, the Celtics training camp invites are all set. Chris Babb, Damen Bell-Holter, DeShawn Sims, and Kammron Taylor round out the list. 
  • Trey McKinney Jones, a former guard for the Miami Hurricanes, will participate in the Bucks training camp, according to Hoopshype.com.
  • According to the team, the Bulls have made several changes to their staff, promoting Randy Brown to assistant GM, Nick Papendieck to head strength coach, and Ivica Dukan to director of international scouting, as well as special assistant to the general manager.

Celtics Invite Damen Bell-Holter To Camp

The Celtics are adding an off-the-radar prospect, having invited undrafted Damen Bell-Holter to training camp, the power forward tells A.J. Jankowski of the Ketchikan Daily News. Germany's Telekom Baskets Bonn had just declined to renew Bell-Holter's three-week tryout contract when the Celtics extended their offer to agents Mitchell Butler and Toby Bailey. Bell-Holter indicates to Jankowski that he'll accept the invitation.

The Alaskan-born Bell-Holter wasn't highly regarded coming out of Oral Roberts this year. Neither DraftExpress nor ESPN.com listed him in their prospect rankings, and we didn't hear of any NBA team bringing him in for a predraft workout. The 6'9" power forward didn't take part in NBA summer league action after averaging 15.5 points and 9.4 rebounds in 31.5 minutes per game as a college senior this past season. NBA scouts may have been most familiar with him from his work at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament this spring, where he put up 7.7 PPG and 4.3 RPG in nearly 24 minutes of action per contest against other NCAA seniors.

The 23-year-old was sorting through offers before the Celtics called, and he said he was probably going to accept one from a team in Greece. Instead, Bell-Holter will have a shot, however remote, at making the Celtics regular season squad next month. His addition will give the Celtics 19 players, one short of the training camp roster limit. The deal is non-guaranteed, Bell-Holter confirms to Jankowski.

If Bell-Holter survives camp cuts, he'll become just the second player born in Alaska to appear in an NBA regular season game, joining Mario Chalmers.