September 17, 2019
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Maine Red Claws prepare for draft picks, top Maine banks keep growing

Greg Wohlford | AP
Greg Wohlford | AP
Erie BayHawks forward Jeremy Hollowell, center, blocks a Maine Red Claws shot during an NBA G league basketball game at Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pa., Friday, March 9, 2018.

The Maine Red Claws will tip off their season at home on Friday, Nov. 2, against the Westchester Knicks at the Portland Expo, but that’s after the draft set for this Saturday.

The 2018 NBA G League Draft is set for Oct. 20 beginning at 1 p.m. This year’s draft will have four rounds amounting to 108 total picks among 27 NBA G League teams.

The Red Claws are in their 10th season as a National Basketball Association G League team affiliated with the Boston Celtics. Game tickets range from $8 for end zone seats to $32 at center court.

The league office signs more than 100 players each fall for the draft and places them in the pool. The players include NBA and NBA G League vets, international pros and prospects, undrafted rookies and NBA G League National Tryout players. Players must be 18 years old to be eligible for the NBA G League Draft. The NBA’s age minimum is 19.

One of the best players Maine picked in a past draft was Shelvin Mack, a No. 4 pick in 2012 by the Red Claws, according to the league.

In October, the Red Claws said they had completed a trade with the Agua Caliente Clippers, acquiring the returning player rights to James McAdoo and a 2018 third round selection in Saturday’s draft.

McAdoo, an NBA veteran, has played in 111 regular season NBA games with both Golden State and Philadelphia. He has also played in 51 NBA G League games, including 18 last season.

In exchange for McAdoo, Maine sent Agua Caliente the returning player rights to Anthony Bennett. In 21 games last season, Bennett, the top overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, averaged 16 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.

This season also marks a future opportunity for elite NBA G League players to potentially ascend to the NBA. In the 2019-20 season, the league will offer a Select Contract as part of a professional path for elite players eligible to play in the NBA G League but not yet eligible for the NBA.

The contract, which will include development opportunities, also pays a lot more than the base salary of $35,000, or $7,000 monthly for the five-month season. Select Contract players will be paid $125,000.

“Select Contracts are an answer to the basketball community’s call for additional development options for elite players before they are eligible for the NBA,” NBA G League President Malcolm Turner said in a prepared statement. “The supporting infrastructure surrounding these newly-created Select Contracts is designed to provide a rich offering of basketball and life skills developmental tools for top young players to grow along their professional paths from high school to the pros.”

During the year leading up to the 2019-20 season, the NBA G League will hire a dedicated program manager and establish a working group tasked with identifying eligible elite players.

Live coverage of the draft is available on NBAGLeague.com, the NBA G League app and @NBAGLeague on social media.

Maine’s top banks pile up assets

The top three Maine-based banks continue to boost their assets.

Bar Harbor Bankshares, the publicly traded parent of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, reported on Thursday that its net income for the third quarter rose $1.4 million, or 5 percent, to $9 million compared to the same quarter of 2017.

The bank’s total assets were $3.6 billion at the end of the third quarter 2018, up $20 million from the second quarter of 2018.

“Commercial loans have grown 3 percent on a year-to-date annualized basis as our teams continue to gain market share within our regions,” President and CEO Curtis Simard said in a prepared statement.

Earlier this month, the bank said it would open a commercial loan office in Portland. The bank also said it is on track to open a new branch in Manchester, New Hampshire, next month, with plans for branches in Bedford, New Hampshire, and Belfast next year.

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust ranks third among Maine banks in assets as of June 30, 2018, according to USbanklocations.com. It had Bar Harbor Bank & Trust with $3.54 billion in assets in the quarter that ended June 30, ranking it 292nd among U.S. banks. The banks had 451 employees, ranking it 330th nationwide.

By contrast, the top two banks by assets, publicly traded Camden National Corp. and privately held Bangor Savings Bank, have been neck-in-neck in terms of assets for years.

The rankings by USbanklocations.com flipped in the second-quarter rankings after Bangor Savings closed on its acquisition of Granite Bank of New Hampshire in April, which added assets.

In the first quarter of this year, which ended March 31, Camden National still topped Maine-based banks in assets at $4.1 billion, ranking it 259th nationally. Bangor Savings had $3.8 billion in assets, coming in at 268th nationally. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust was third at $3.5 billion and ranked 288th.

But when the second quarter ended, following the closing of the Granite Bank merger, Bangor Savings moved to the top with close to $4.3 billion in assets, while Camden National was second at close to $4.2 billion. That ranked Bangor Savings 250th nationally and Camden national 255th.

Bangor Savings also added employees with the merger, according to USbanklocations.com, with 780 employees in the first quarter of this year and 876 in the second quarter. Camden National also saw an uptick with 617 employees in the first quarter and 629 in the second. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust went from 410 to 451 from the first to second quarter.

Whether the top two banks switch rankings again remains to be seen. Camden National is scheduled to report earnings for the most recent quarter that ended Sept. 30 at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30. It will hold a conference call with live dial-in at 888-349-0139 and a webcast at services.choruscall.com/links/cac181030.html.

Amazon decision looms

Amazon executives have been visiting select cities recently as the online retail giant closes in on selecting a second headquarters location, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The newspaper doesn’t mention Boston, which is one of the 20 finalists for the $5 billion headquarters. Visits during the past couple of months included Newark, New Jersey; Chicago; and New York City, the newspaper said quoting people familiar with the matter.

Rumors of other follow-up visits include stops in Miami and the Washington, D.C., area, while cities such as Raleigh, North Carolina, reportedly haven’t heard from Amazon in months.

The recent visits might indicate Amazon is favoring a large urban location, the newspaper said.

But in this hot baseball season, legend Yogi Berra’s comment seems to aptly sum up the situation: “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

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