The Maine Red Claws started the season off with a red hot 5-0 record, finishing it off strong with a final record of 28-14 on the 2019-20 campaign. These impressive plateaus were reached with Celtics Two-Way Player Tremont Waters leading the charge since day one. In addition to being a two-time Player of the Week award winner this season, Waters earned Player of the Month honors in November, immediately setting the tone for what would be a promising campaign all around.
At 22-years old, it’s almost hard to believe that such a youngster with no prior professional experience could take on — not just a headlining role, but a leadership one — with such ease, poise, confidence, and of course, skill. The guard was his team’s workhorse on offense and surprisingly enough, a vocal commander on the defensive end as well. With a stat-line of 18 points per game on a 43/36/78 slash to go with 7.3 assists and 1.9 steals, Waters’ varied efforts make him an ever-deserving recipient of the NBA G League’s Rookie of the Year award for 2019-20.
Waters undoubtedly put up big numbers to start off the year, but it was his even bigger impact throughout the campaign that helped him maintain respect all season long. Waters never needed to drop 40 in a given contest for his team to win. He made splashes by simply hitting clutch shots, elevating the games of his teammates, and making things difficult for opposing ball handlers right from the opening tip. The bottom line is that Waters found ways to contribute and provide a boost, without ever having to be the center of attention on a consistent basis. That’s what the minor league grind is all about.
His campaign was sprinkled with a number of impressive accomplishments. The point guard logged six double-doubles, tallied at least 20 points and 7 assists on ten different occasions, and knocked down at least four three-point field goals in nine separate games. Arguably his best game of the season came in a win against the Long Island Nets on January 24, when he flirted with a triple-double, amassing 23 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, and 5 steals.
Above all else, Waters proved he could be relied upon. If his team needed him to shoulder the scoring load, he proved he could do it. He displayed maturity in showing appreciation for the talented players around him and put them in places to succeed and score the basketball. If there was a given day where his own shot wasn’t necessarily falling, Waters wouldn’t get discouraged. Instead, he’d put extra effort into pestering opponents with a backcourt press. Needless to say, he did it all.
Even while serving as an elite floor general for Maine, Waters found time to get NBA exposure as well. He’s appeared in ten games in The Association during his rookie season, but this latest honor could be reason for the Celtics to continue giving him more opportunities to shine.