Boston Celtics: Chris Babb

Babb to camp with Claws

October, 31, 2014
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Chris Babb, a casualty of Boston's bloated roster, will camp with the team's Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, after being assigned as a returning player.

Babb, a final camp cut last season, appeared in 33 games for Maine before being signed by Boston to provide late-season depth. Babb spent the summer working with the Celtics, but was cut again in late September after the team's roster bloated following a trade with the Cavaliers.

In camping with Maine, Babb will have the opportunity to stay within the Celtics family. More lucrative overseas offers likely exist, but Babb is one of many D-Leaguers that have benefited from in-season call-ups.

The Claws also announced that Sherwood Brown and Jermaine Taylor have been invited to camp as returning players.

On the eve of the D-League Draft, the Claws made two trades. First, the team acquired a third round pick from Grand Rapids while trading away the rights to former NBA first-round pick Daniel Orton and a sixth-round pick. Orton, a 6-10 forward, played in 24 games for Maine last season, averaging 11.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Maine then acquired the returning player rights to Jamal Sampson III from Reno in exchange for a fourth-round pick.

Rapid Reaction: C's shuffle roster

September, 25, 2014
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Rapid reaction after the Boston Celtics shipped Keith Bogans to the Cleveland Cavaliers, then waived Chris Johnson and Chris Babb while shuffling their roster before the start of training camp next week:

Shuffle 1: Bogans to Cleveland: The Celtics sent the long-since-excused Bogans and his bloated $5.3 million nonguaranteed contract, along with a pair of second-round picks they were never going to see (top-55 protected picks from Sacramento in 2015 and 2017), to the Cavaliers in exchange for Dwight Powell, Erik Murphy, John Lucas III and Malcolm Thomas, along with Cleveland's 2016 and 2017 second-round picks. What exactly did Boston get out of the deal?

1. A new $5.3 million trade exception for Bogans. The Celtics absorbed Powell, Murphy and Thomas via minimum salary exceptions and thus needed only to use a small traded-player exception to take on Lucas' nonguaranteed $1.6 million deal. The guess here is they used a $2.1 million exception generated from sending Courtney Lee to Memphis in January.

2. Powell and Murphy (who played his high school ball at St. Mark's in Southborough, Massachusetts) should both get looks at training camp. Powell is an intriguing young power forward despite having been traded twice already after being selected by Charlotte at No. 45 in June's draft. Murphy has a small guarantee ($100,000) and faces long odds to make the regular-season roster unless another move creates additional space.

3. With Cleveland expected to contend for titles in the coming seasons, the two second-round picks Boston acquired will likely be among each draft's final selections. Nonetheless, assets are assets and the Celtics added to their pick surplus, which could aid future moves.

Shuffle 2: Babb, Johnson waived: Following the Cleveland swap, the Celtics essentially had 23 players under contract, and that didn't include the still-pending signing of Evan Turner. Boston started its trim by waiving the nonguaranteed contracts of Johnson and Babb. Johnson is the more surprising cut of the two, but Boston's overstocked roster forced the team's hand. It will be interesting to see if another team picks up Johnson, whom the Celtics loved for his work ethic. Babb could always land back with Maine of the D-League if no other NBA or overseas opportunity emerges.

What's next? The Celtics still stand at 21 players for the moment and have expressed a desire to ink Turner before the start of camp next week. It seems likely the team will waive the nonguaranteed contracts of Lucas and Thomas, then be at 20 players for camp (including Turner). There's still some shuffling to do as Boston now has 16 guaranteed contracts for the 2014-15 season and can only carry 15 bodies into the regular season. How can Boston trim?

1. The team can clear three bodies by waiving camp invitees Tim Frazier, Rodney McGruder and Christian Watford (the trio is likely to end up as affiliated players with the Red Claws).

2. Boston will still have to make two more cuts, and Murphy will seemingly have to shine at camp in order to stick around. The Celtics will need some additional maneuvering in order to avoid having to eat a guaranteed deal before the start of the regular season (and Powell's $500,000 salary will be the lowest on the team by a fair margin).

Salary in focus: For the sake of roster/salary projection, let's say the Celtics don't make any more moves before camp beyond waiving both Powell and Murphy (which would cost them $600,000 in guaranteed salary). Boston is committed to roughly $72.3 million, plus whatever Turner ultimately signs for. That likely means Boston will soon be under the luxury-tax line of $76.8 million, providing it increased flexibility moving forward this season.

Celtics waive Babb, Johnson

September, 25, 2014
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On the heels of Thursday's swap with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Boston Celtics waived Chris Johnson and Chris Babb.

Both Johnson and Babb, D-League call-ups last season, had nonguaranteed minimum contracts and were victims of Boston's overstocked roster, which essentially ballooned to 23 players after finalizing the Cleveland deal. The Celtics must still waive two more bodies before being able to formally sign Evan Turner and stay at the 20-man maximum for the start of camp next week.

Johnson appeared in 40 games last season and impressed the coaching staff with a relentless work ethic. The Celtics had an interest in keeping him around this season, but the overcrowded roster forced Boston's hand.

Babb, who was a final cut out of training camp with Boston before the 2013-14 season, spent much of the season with the team's D-League affiliate in Maine. He was a longer shot to make the roster this season and has hinted that he could possibly land back with the Red Claws if no NBA opportunities materialize.

The Celtics can clear the necessary room to sign Turner by waiving at least two of the three nonguaranteed contracts acquired from Cleveland (with John Lucas III and Malcolm Thomas seemingly the most likely targets).

#NBARank: Babb + Bogans at tail end

September, 15, 2014
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Boston Celtics guards Chris Babb (No. 499) and Keith Bogans (462) are among those at the tail end of ESPN.com's annual ranking of the league's 500 players.

Babb, with a rating of 1.31, creeps on the list a spot ahead of Indiana's Shayne Whittington. After starting last season in the D-League, Babb can take solace in simply being on the list after finishing the 2013-14 season with Boston. His ranking only hammers home his long odds to stick on Boston's overcrowded roster.

Bogans, with a rating of 1.83, finds himself in a land typically reserved for roster long shots. After being excused from the Celtics last season, Bogans plummets after being ranked No. 307 before last season.

Other Boston players that landed in spots 400-500 unveiled on Monday included Phil Pressey (413th, 2.28 rating) and Chris Johnson (424th, 2.19).

[Read full #NBARank]

Celtics get aggressive Babb

July, 9, 2014
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Chris Babb was already in for an uphill battle for a spot on the Boston Celtics' 2014-15 roster before the team got in on a three-way deal Wednesday that added veteran shooting guard Marcus Thornton to an overpopulated backcourt.

[+] EnlargeBabb
Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images
Babb, playing on a nonguaranteed deal, could be an odd man out with Boston soon to be carrying 17 players and sitting -- at least temporarily -- above the league's luxury tax line. Releasing Babb would afford the team $816,000 in savings. For his part, Babb denied getting any additional motivation from the team's roster moves, nor is he worrying about his own situation.

But after Wednesday's effort, you can't help but wonder if recent events helped light a bit of a fire under him.

Babb played with an offensive aggression that he has often lacked since earning his spot on the Boston roster as a D-League call-up last season. Babb attacked the basket often during Wednesday's summer league triumph over the Detroit Pistons and finished with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go along with 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals over 26 minutes of play.

Put it this way: Babb attempted only three two-point shots in 132 minutes of floor time last season. He put up six -- and made five of them -- in Wednesday's game.

"He played really, really aggressively," Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga, head coach of the summer squad, said of Babb. "That’s what he needs to do. He’s got all the potential in the world to compete at this level. I try to get on him to be more aggressive. He’s such a team-oriented player and a very conservative player, that sometimes you just gotta let loose. He’s always going to be a great defender, but as he gets more and more comfortable being aggressive on offense, I think he’ll really continue to grow."

Babb said his first focus is on being a team player, but knows he has to look for his spots more.

"I’m such a team-oriented guy that, a lot of times, I pass up opportunities for an extra pass or make a play for somebody else," Babb said. "Sometimes those shots are there and I can be a little bit more aggressive."

Did he have a little extra motivation Wednesday with news that Boston was part of a three-way deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets?

"To be honest, that’s all outside of my hands," Babb said. "That’s upstairs, that’s the front office -- that really has nothing to do with me at this point. I’m just really focused on what I can control at this point. Just being aggressive, playing hard, and being a team guy and trying to win games."

Babb is averaging 5.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists through three summer league appearances.

A final camp cut for Boston in September, Babb landed with the team's D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. He spent much of the 2013-14 season in the D-League, but signed a 10-day contract in late February (and another in early March) before inking a four-year pact that's nonguaranteed this season and next (with a team option looming in 2016-17).
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Report card: The late arrivals

May, 3, 2014
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Jack Arent/NBAE via Getty ImagesAfter starting the season with Maine, Chris Babb got an NBA call-up.
With the Boston Celtics' 2013-14 campaign in the rearview mirror, we've busted out our red pens and assigned grades to each player based on their individual performances this season. Our annual reminder that players are graded based on expectations versus personal performance. This is the 13th in a series of end-of-the-season report cards:

Player: Chris Babb
2013-14 base stats: 1.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 26.7 FG%
2013-14 advanced stats: 0.667 Off ppp (6th percentile); 0.861 Def ppp (54th)
2013-14 salary: $133,000

SportsNation

What's your grade for Chris Babb this season?

  •  
    6%
  •  
    18%
  •  
    44%
  •  
    24%
  •  
    8%

Discuss (Total votes: 1,376)

Season in a paragraph: Undrafted out of Iowa State, Babb went to training camp with the Celtics in October and was Boston's final cut. He landed with the team's D-League affiliate in Maine and got the call-up, in part, due to the team's need for wing depth after Gerald Wallace was lost for the season. Like Chris Johnson before him, Babb made the most of his opportunity and, after two 10-day contracts, signed for the remainder of the season.

Teacher's notes: We'll hold off on giving grades to the late arrivals given their limited sample (but you can still vote in the polls). Babb might have led the team in claps per minute over the final two months of the season. Even when he was a healthy DNP, Babb was into the game and a quality teammate. Babb struggled offensively, shooting just 26.7 percent from the floor and 22.2 percent beyond the 3-point arc, but was mostly a competitive defender and his effort was obvious.

What's next?: Babb signed on for four seasons, but the final three are nonguaranteed. He'll stick with the organization to start this offseason, but as the roster crowds he could be moved as part of a trade package or set free to seek an opportunity elsewhere. If he survives the summer, he'll likely still be fighting an uphill battle to keep his end-of-the-roster spot in training camp.


 
Player: Joel Anthony
2013-14 base stats: 0.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.4 bpg, 37.5 FG%
2013-14 advanced stats: 0.71 Off ppp (9th percentile); 1.0 Def ppp (9th)
2013-14 salary: $3.8 million

SportsNation

What's your grade for Joel Anthony this season?

  •  
    3%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    20%
  •  
    41%
  •  
    32%

Discuss (Total votes: 1,289)

Season in a paragraph: Anthony arrived in mid-January as part of the three-team swap that sent out Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks in exchange for a collection of future draft picks. The 31-year-old center played sparingly and only once did he reach double figures in minutes before April. The quiet Anthony didn't appear to quibble about his role and stayed ready for his opportunity.

Teacher's notes: Brad Stevens often pointed to Anthony as the sort of defensive presence the team could use to protect the rim, but he rarely called on him until the final games of the season. Anthony has a couple championship rings from his time in Miami, but he's struggled to find a consistent role since starting 51 games for the Heat during the 2011-12 season.

What's next?: All indications are Anthony will pick up the $3.8 million player option he has for next season as he clearly won't fetch that price tag on the open market. Will he be back in Boston? That will likely depend on whether the team can include his deal in any offseason move. Given his limited role this year, you get the sense that the Celtics must be confident that's possible after taking on his contract as part of a deal that's likely only to deliver second-round draft picks (albeit, potentially high ones from the 76ers).

Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.

Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on the 2013-14 season for Babb or Anthony? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

C's formally announce Babb signing

March, 21, 2014
3/21/14
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The Boston Celtics formally announced the signing of rookie swingman Chris Babb for the remainder of the 2013-14 season on Friday.

Babb, whose second 10-day contract expired on Thursday, traveled with the team to New York in advance of Friday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, inked a multiyear deal. That pact should keep Babb with the Celtics through the summer and into training camp, though with future seasons nonguaranteed, it could make Babb a trade asset depending on Boston’s offseason activity.

Hop HERE for more on Babb sticking around for the remainder of the season and HERE for more on what his nonguaranteed deal means for the team.
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Chris Babb

Source: Babb to sign for rest of season

March, 20, 2014
3/20/14
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The Boston Celtics will sign rookie swingman Chris Babb for the remainder of the 2013-14 season on Friday, according to a team source.

Babb, whose second 10-day contract was set to expire on Thursday, traveled with the team to New York in advance of Friday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets and will ink a multiyear deal.

That pact should keep Babb with the Celtics through the summer -- though with future seasons expected to be nonguaranteed, it could make Babb a trade chip depending on Boston’s offseason activity -- and give him a chance to compete again for a roster spot in training camp.

Babb logged his fourth consecutive DNP on Wednesday night against the Miami Heat, but had the support of head coach Brad Stevens.

“I love having him around,” said Stevens. “I think he’s great. He’s an unbelievable teammate. And I think when he’s played, he’s given us good minutes.”

In six appearances since being signed from the Maine Red Claws of the D-League earlier this month, Babb has averaged 2.2 points, 1.3 rebounds and 11.5 minutes per game.

Babb is the second player plucked from the D-League to earn a rest-of-the-season deal with Boston. Chris Johnson did the same earlier this season. The Celtics now have multiple nonguaranteed deals to aid their offseason pursuits.

With only 27 days remaining in the 2013-14 season, Babb’s deal will cost Boston only $78,000 for the remainder of the season (paired with his two 10-day deals, he’ll earn roughly $135,000 for his rookie stay with Boston). The Celtics were roughly $750,000 from the luxury tax line before the deal and -- accounting for the increased luxury tax calculation given Babb’s rookie status -- Boston appears to still have about $600,000 under the line (depending on performance incentives).

The Celtics are now at the 15-man roster limit.
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Chris Babb

What to do with Babb?

March, 18, 2014
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Chris Babb's second 10-day deal expires on Thursday evening, meaning Wednesday's visit from the Miami Heat could be his final chance to make an impression.

And there's no guarantee he'll get that opportunity. With the recent return of Avery Bradley adding depth to Boston's backcourt, Babb has logged three consecutive DNPs. In six appearances since being signed from the Maine Red Claws of the D-League, Babb has averaged 2.2 points and 1.3 rebounds over 11.5 minutes per game.

Here's the case for Babb: He's been an excellent teammate and has made a positive impact when he's been given the chance to be on the floor. Boston's defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) is a mere 87.4 with Babb in the game (or 16 points below the team's season average, albeit in an obviously super small sample). He's been thrust into some tough matchups, including being sent out to guard Indiana's Paul George after checking in for his NBA debut, but he has held his own in large part because of his tenacity.

For the Celtics, the decision won't necessarily be based on money. By our calculations, the team still has about about $0.75 million to play with below the luxury tax line -- depending on season performance incentives -- and any player they sign to occupy that final roster spot will be prorated for no more the 27 days that will remain in the season starting on Friday. Boston could diminish that salary commitment further by waiting until later in the season -- say, the final day -- to ink a player to occupy that 15th roster spot.

The question for Boston appears to be whether it would risk someone else scooping up Babb to stash at the end of their roster, or if he's a guy they desire to carry through the summer and bring back for training camp.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been strong in his support of Babb, voicing his desire to keep him around after the initial 10-day pact. In much the same way Chris Johnson played his way onto the team earlier this season, Babb's energy tends to be infectious when he's on the floor. As the Celtics play out the string, those are good players to have on the roster.
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Chris Babb

C's formally announce Babb deal

March, 11, 2014
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The Boston Celtics formally announced the signing of rookie Chris Babb to a second 10-day contract on Tuesday.

Babb revealed after Sunday's game that he had been asked to stick around with his initial pact set to expire. The new deal will keep Babb here for at least six more games as the Celtics navigate a busy stretch that features two back-to-backs.

Babb's new deal runs through March 20, when the team will have to decide whether to sign him for the rest of the season (and keep him a part of the organization through the summer).

For more on Babb sticking around, hop HERE.
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Chris Babb

Babb signs second 10-day deal

March, 9, 2014
3/09/14
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BOSTON -- Boston Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren pulled Chris Babb aside after Sunday's game and asked a question he already knew the answer to: Want to stick around?

"Yeah sure, why not?" Babb playfully said he replied. "I’ll stick around for a couple more days."

The Celtics will ink Babb to a second 10-day contract on Monday, keeping the rookie swingman on the roster for at least six more games. Boston is getting healthier, with starting shooting guard Avery Bradley eyeing a return on Friday, but Babb has impressed in short bursts and provides depth during a busy stretch of the late-season schedule.

Through four appearances, Babb is averaging 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds over 13 minutes per game. The undrafted guard, who was a final cut out of training camp in October and spent much of the 2013-14 season with the Maine Red Claws of the D-League, has proven to be a competitive defender and an invested teammate.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens had said earlier in the night that he hoped Babb would stick around.

"I’d really like to have him around and ... all indications are that everybody feels that way within our organization," Stevens said before Sunday's win over the Detroit Pistons.

What would Babb like to accomplish over these next 10 days?

"Hopefully I make a couple more shots, but that will come," he said. "I’m just really focusing on just playing hard when I get into game, when I get my opportunities. Play hard, be prepared, and know the role. Just continue to do what I’ve been doing."

Babb is savoring the opportunity, knowing that simply getting a chance at this level is sometimes the hardest part.

"That’s 90 percent of the battle, just getting a shot, because there’s so much talent," said Babb. "In the D-League, guys coming out of college, veterans -- so all it takes is for some guys like me is a chance. I was fortunate enough to get one."

Notebook: C's can't give this one away

March, 8, 2014
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BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics turned the ball over a season-high 28 times on Friday night against the Brooklyn Nets. And, defying all logic, they never trailed en route to a 91-84 triumph at TD Garden.

The Celtics entered Friday's tilt 0-6 in games in which they committed 19 turnovers or more. They gave it away 15 times in the second half alone against the Nets, which aided the visitors in rallying within a bucket in the third quarter. But Boston simply couldn't give this game away.

"They were nice enough to put 25 [individual turnovers] on my box sheet here; I think it was a special box score for the coach," quipped Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

But how were the Celtics able to overcome that many giveaways? Inside the team's locker room, Jared Sullinger offered, "I don’t know how you’re going to win turning the ball over so many times, honestly. Maybe we were just lucky that [the Nets] had a bad shooting night."

Added rookie Kelly Olynyk, "I don’t know. I guess when they go 0-for-17 in the first half from [3-point range], it helps out."

That is truly the only explanation. The Nets misfired on 26 triples for the night and shot a mere 36.3 percent from the field (29-for-80) overall. Even though Boston seemed to be kicking the ball into the crowd (or throwing it off a referee) for much of the game, it still couldn't stop the Celtics from building as much as an 18-point, third-quarter lead.

Read on for more notes, including an update on Avery Bradley's health, praise for Chris Babb and Phil Pressey, and why you can't go under screens on Rajon Rondo.

(Read full post)

Chris Babb thrown in the fire

March, 3, 2014
3/03/14
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Late in the first quarter of Saturday's game against the Indiana Pacers, Chris Babb got the call from Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens to make his NBA debut. The rookie's first assignment? Defend All-Star Paul George.

Welcome to the NBA, kid.

Jack Arent/NBAE via Getty ImagesChris Babb impressed the Celtics' coaching staff during the preseason, emerging as a competitive defender and a capable 3-point shooter.
Babb, who signed a 10-day contract with Boston one day earlier, played only 1 minute, 38 seconds in his first NBA game, but showed a tiny glimpse of why he's here with some feisty defense against one of the league's top scorers.

The only points George generated during that 98-second span came when Brandon Bass called for a switch on a pick-and-roll and gave up a three-point play. Babb otherwise stayed attached to George, including on the final play of the first quarter, where he muscled George out of a post-up situation and contested a baseline fadeaway that clanged off iron.

The Celtics were pondering a potential addition to the roster last week with an available spot and mounting injuries. But when veteran Gerald Wallace learned he needed season-ending knee surgery for a torn meniscus, Boston's need for a defensive-minded wing was heightened.

On Thursday, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge phoned head coach Mike Taylor of the Maine Red Claws, Boston's D-League affiliate, and told him the Celtics planned to ink Babb to a 10-day contract.

Babb, warming up on the court in Portland before a visit from the Canton Charge, got a quick jolt of nerves when he was summonsed to Taylor's office. And while he got the good news about his first NBA opportunity, he also received some bad news: Babb couldn't tell anyone in the locker room about his call-up.

Babb quietly texted a couple of members of his family, then went out and put up 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals over 40 minutes. He also hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:30 remaining that propelled Maine to a 110-105 triumph.

By the time the game ended, word had spread about Babb's promotion and he was finally able to revel in the news. Twelve hours later he was on the practice floor in Waltham with the Celtics prepping for this NBA debut.

"It was definitely unexpected," Babb admitted. "I kind of just thought I was going to grind out the rest of this D-League season and start over next year. Fortunately enough, the staff here gave me an opportunity."

(Read full story)
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C's expected to sign Babb to 10-day deal

February, 27, 2014
2/27/14
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The Boston Celtics are expected to sign former training camp invite Chris Babb to a 10-day contract.

Babb, currently playing for the team's D-League affiliate in Maine, acknowledged reports Thursday night that the Celtics plan to call him up. Babb, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Iowa State, was the team's final cut out of camp and latched on with the Red Claws.

Through 32 games with Maine, Babb was averaging 11.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

He told the Portland Press Herald after Thursday's game that the "Celtics have talked about wanting to see me make plays, run to the corner in transition, knock down shots, play defense."

The paper spotlighted Babb's season in Maine in Thursday's editions.

“Chris Babb is a very educated basketball player, one of the most intelligent players I’ve been around,” Maine coach Mike Taylor told the Press Herald. “He knows how to play. He’s like a Peyton Manning out on the court. He understands his job. He understands everyone else’s job. He can cover for his teammates if there is a breakdown or mistake."

Babb opened eyes with his defense and 3-point shooting during training camp. Before he was released, Babb noted, "It’s a dream I’ve always had to compete at the highest level. It’s the NBA. To be here, I think I've turned a lot of heads. People like me a lot more now than when I first came here. I think that’s the big thing."

If the Celtics ink Babb Friday, he'll be around for the four games remaining on this homestand. With Avery Bradley still nursing an ankle injury, Babb provides additional depth at the shooting guard position.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens acknowledged Wednesday that the team was pondering additions with one available roster spot and a depleted bench. Boston navigated Wednesday's win over the Atlanta Hawks with only nine available bodies.
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Chris Babb

Three Celtics cuts land in Maine

October, 31, 2013
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The Maine Red Claws unveiled the first 11 players that will comprise their camp roster and it includes a trio of the Boston Celtics' camp cuts.

Chris Babb, Damen Bell-Holter, and Kammron Taylor will join the Red Claws as affiliated players after camping with the Celtics. The trio knew they were roster longshots to make a Boston roster that was up against the luxury tax line with 14 guaranteed contracts, but this keeps them in the family and allows them to develop in the D-League while learning parts of Boston's system.

Read on for the 11-player roster and bios from the Claws.

(Read full post)

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