Abdel Nader is one of the top prospects of the D-League, averaging 22.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists for the Maine Red Claws.
Nader hopes to receive a legitimate shot at making the Boston Celtics' roster for the 17-18 season. Nader sought that chance this season but agreed to a deal where he would remain in the D-League with the Red Claws. Nader was the 58th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft out of Iowa State.
“It’s just a testament to all the hard work I put in in the offseason,” Nader said. “On a daily basis you’ve got to keep proving people wrong. I’ve got to keep developing, keep getting better. Everybody [in the D-League] is bigger and stronger than college. You’re going against men, you know? Everybody is a pro. There’s a lot more spacing [than in college], so you have a lot more freedom to handle the ball and get into the paint.”
Forwards James Young, Gerald Green, and Jonas Jerebko will be free agents this summer, opening the door for Nader to make a bid at a roster spot.
“I think I put myself in a position [to make the roster],” he said. “I think I have a great chance. I have proven myself and I’m going to continue to do so. It’s my time, that’s how I feel right now.”
Nader will likely get an invitation to training camp, along with 2016 first-round picks Guerschon Yabusele and Ante Zizic, who are flourishing overseas.
“They’re very hands-on with me and my development in Maine,” Nader said of Celtics management. “They send front-office guys all the time. Danny [Ainge] comes and watches games in Maine. It’s great knowing those guys have my back, and I’m just grateful for the opportunity given to me.”