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Abdel Nader to sign with Red Claws

Nader passes up lucrative offers overseas to stay in Celtics’ farm system.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional Practice Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

According to The Vertical’s Shams Charania, Celtics 2016 second-round pick Abdel Nader has decided to sign with the team’s D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

The decision comes after a prolonged game of will-he-or-won’t-he, during which the Iowa State product weighed various options, including a “lucrative offer in Europe,” per Charania.

After being selected with the No. 58 overall pick in this summer’s draft, Nader wasn’t expected to make an impact at the NBA level. But his impressive performance during the Las Vegas Summer League—10 points and 2.8 rebounds per game on 49 percent shooting from the field, 36.3 percent from beyond the arc—was enough to convince Celtics brass that he should be kept close to home.

There was some thought that the Celtics could lose his rights if he had signed a training camp tender and later was waived, but with this agreement to play in the D-League, Boston retains Nader’s draft rights.

The move is similar to what the Oklahoma City Thunder and Josh Heustis agreed to in 2014. OKC selected Heustis late in the first round with no intentions of having him play for the NBA club during that upcoming season. Like Nader, Heustis then passed on a bigger contract in Europe to become the league’s very first “domestic draft-and-stash.”

Nader’s future with the Celtics is still uncertain, but it would be wrong to completely forget about the 6’6” wing altogether.

“I spent a lifetime preparing for this moment,” Nader told the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach earlier this month. “I believe in rising to the occasion.”

It’s unlikely this will be the last we hear of Nader.

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