The Boston Celtics added another versatile piece to their backcourt personnel Wednesday by signing veteran combo guard Leandro Barbosa, according to a league source.
Barbosa will come to Boston on a veteran minimum contract. The Celtics have 17 players on their roster, including two camp invitees.
The 6-foot-3 Barbosa has averaged 12.5 points and 2.4 assists over 24.6 minutes per game in his career and averaged 8.9 points in 22 games last season with the Indiana Pacers. He’ll join a backcourt that already includes Jason Terry, Rajon Rondo, Courtney Lee, and Avery Bradley.
Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has been suspended for Game 2 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Atlanta Hawks for making contact with a game official.
Rondo chest-bumped referee Marc Davis with 41 seconds remaining in Sunday’s 83-74 Game 1 loss at Philips Arena, earning his second technical and automatic ejection.
Rondo, who earned both technicals while vehemently protesting a foul call against teammate Brandon Bass, said after the game that the bump was unintentional, but the league apparently viewed it as otherwise.
The Lakers and Celtics discussed a trade centered around Rajon Rondo last week, but nothing materialized.
Metta World Peace, Rajon Rondo
Los Angeles is unwilling to trade Gasol in a package for Rondo, making a deal before the deadline unlikely.
“Unless they give up Gasol, they’re not going to get a top-level point guard,” said a person familiar with the situation.
Mitch Kupchak recently talked openly about the Lakers’ desire to acquire a young and talented point guard.
“Well, if there were a way for us to get a 25-year-old, All-Star, ball-handling guard we’d love to do it,” said Kupchak to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com. “But that’s not likely in February. So you look at other alternatives, and see if it’s better than what you have. That’s all.”
Rajon Rondo is the player that fits that description, possibly the only one in the NBA. Sources say the Celtics have interest in acquiring Pau Gasol for Rondo.
Officials from the Pacers have been making calls to gather insight into Rondo’s reputation over the past few days.
While Indiana and the Celtics have talked about the preliminary framework of a deal, two sources say a third team would be needed to consummate the deal.
Boston is likely attempting to acquire enough pieces to eventually land CP3.
Clearly, the Celtics are not afraid of adding veteran talent, which makes swingman Tracy McGrady interesting.
Beyond Boston’s need for size this offseason, its other needs include: a veteran ball-handler, bench scoring, and a player that can defend on the wing. McGrady does all of that — all to a decent level at this point of his career — and at a potential bargain basement price.
The idea of leaning on him as a second-unit ball-handler when Rajon Rondo is off the court is intriguing — far more so than any of the veteran point guards available, regardless of whether the team brings back Delonte West. Add in McGrady’s time with Doc Rivers in Orlando and the move almost makes too much sense.
It has been two months since Rajon Rondo dislocated his left elbow in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Rondo’s still rehabbing, trying to return to peak physical form.
“It’s the most pain I’ve ever been in playing ball,” Rondo said.
“I’m feeling a little pain now, but the swelling is down. The only thing is there’s swelling in my joint. I’ll be fine, it just takes time. I’ve got a couple more weeks that I’m off, as far as rest and the repetition of weights.”
Check out the best slo-mo highlights from Boston’s victory in Game 3 of their series against the Heat, including Rajon Rondo’s heroic return from an injury.
Rajon Rondo participated in Boston’s shootaround on Monday morning in Waltham. He was on the court in practice clothes shooting free throws.
“He’s a warrior,” Carlos Arroyo said.
“He demonstrated that last game. We were all surprised in the fact that he came back after that injury. I know he’s ready. He wants to play.”
Rondo did not talk after shootaround, but this is what he said after Game 3: “You may see me hold my arm but I’m not going to use it as an excuse,” he said. “That’s how we play. That’s our mentality. We show up Monday night on the court, don’t ask me how I feel. I’m going to play regardless. I’m not going to use it as an excuse. We’re a no-excuse team.”
Check out the best highlights and story lines from the first round series between the Celtics and Knicks.