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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Starting next season, the Maine Red Claws will be the exclusive NBA Developmental League team of the Boston Celtics.

The announcement was made Thursda by the Maine Red Claws, the Boston Celtics and the National Basketball Association D-League.

Since the Red Claws launched in 2009, the team has been affiliated with the Celtics. This past season, the Red Claws shared an NBA affiliation with the Celtics, the Charlotte Bobcats and the Philadelphia 76ers.

For the 2012-13 season, the Celtics will have control over the Red Claws' operations.

Maine Red Claws Chairman Bill Ryan, Jr. said, "The further strengthening of this partnership can only benefit both organizations, and we look forward to seeing Celtics talent come through Maine for years to come."

"We are excited to formalize an already great relationship we have established with Maine. Not only is it a perfect fit geographically, but the people of Maine are some of our most loyal Celtic fans, " said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. "What a great opportunity for our young players to get game reps and develop their skills, while still maintaining the continuity and direction of our organization."

The NBA says six other teams are singly affiliated with their D-League teams. They are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs.

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