Downs joins Red Claws camp as Celtics Affiliate Player

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Downs joins Red Claws camp as Celtics Affiliate Player

WALTHAM For those who didn't get to see much of Micah Downs during his time in Boston Celtics' training camp this fall, never fear.

The 6-foot-8 wing's basketball career lives on not that far away from the C's.

Boston's D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, announced on Thursday that Downs will be among the players to participate in their training camp which begins later this month.

He falls under the D-League's Affiliate player rule, which gave the C's first crack at assigning him to their D-League affiliate after they waived him and not have him count against the league's 15-man limit.

Downs spent three seasons at Gonzaga after transferring from Kansas. This past fall was his first training camp with an NBA team.

"This has been great for me," Downs told CSNNE.com recently. "All the guys have been nice, real helpful. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can, and keep getting better."

He has spent the past three seasons playing overseas in Croatia, Belgium and Spain.

Downs passed on a number of opportunities overseas to participate in Boston's training camp.

Although his minutes were limited most of camp, he had a strong showing against New York in Hartford, Conn. on Oct. 13 in which he grabbed a game-high tying seven rebounds in just under 14 minutes.

"He's a good player," Ainge told CSNNE.com earlier. "He might seem like a mystery to some people, but not to us. He was one of the top players in the country when he came out of high school, so we've known about Micah Downs for quite some time."

And so Downs keeps the dream of playing in the NBA alive, a dream he hopes to someday fulfill as a member of the Boston Celtics.

"I'm out here grinding, doing what I can to make the team and just prove I can play at this level," Downs said.

In addition to Downs, Brian Cusworth - another player in the C's training camp this fall - also joins the Maine Red Claws courtesy of being an affiliate player. The former standout at Harvard (he was a three-year starter), Cusworth averaged 17.8 points per game during his senior season. He has played overseas the past five seasons, primarily in Estonia and Spain. In 2008, he was named All-Estonia Player of the Year and Import Player of the Year in addition to being named to the All-Estonia First Team.

Ehrhoff signs a PTO with the B's after World Cup

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Ehrhoff signs a PTO with the B's after World Cup

The Bruins will add another veteran defenseman to their training camp group fresh off the World Cup of Hockey as German D-man Christian Ehrhoff is headed to Boston on a PTO (professional tryout agreement). CSN has confirmed that Ehrhoff has indeed agreed to a PTO with the Bruins, and he'll report to the team sometime this weekend.

The 34-year-old Ehrhoff had three assists in six World Cup games for Team Europe, and had two goals and 10 points in 48 games for the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks last season while clearly starting to slow down a bit. He’s clearly no longer the player that averaged 14 goals and 47 points for the Vancouver Canucks from 2009-2011, and is another left-shot defenseman to add to a team that already has Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.

But it behooved the Bruins to bring in at least one “name” veteran D-man on a tryout basis during this training camp with so many needs for upgrades on the back end, and with a host of young players that might not be ready for prime time. This might also be a warning sign for young veteran Joe Morrow, a left shot D-man that has struggled a bit in training camp after coming off an erratic first full season at the NHL level.

Clearly the Bruins need more than Ehrhoff, however, even if he’s somehow re-energized with the Bruins after playing pretty well in the World Cup. The Kings were down enough on his game to put him through waivers last season, but he was a top-4 defenseman for the previous eight seasons for San Jose, Vancouver, Buffalo and Pittsburgh prior to getting bounced around between the Kings and Blackhawks last season.

The added bonus with taking a look at Ehrhoff is that there’s no risk associated with a PTO, and the Bruins can simply walk away with no cost if the B’s coaching staff decides he’s not a good fit for the group in Boston. On the other hand, bringing in a Kris Russell-type would cost a great deal in terms of money and term in a free agent contract, and it might not benefit the Black and Gold club in the end result.