The Boston Celtics signed veteran guard Leandro Barbosa today to a one year deal for the veteran’s minimum. What a tremendous signing for the Celtics. It is a little concerning that Barbosa lasted until about two weeks before the season started, but the guy can still play. A native of Brazil and arguably one of the fastest players in the league, Barbosa proved in the Olympics that he still has something left in the tank.
He will provide great depth for the team, especially during the season when head coach Doc Rivers will want to strictly manage playing time, making sure players don’t battle fatigue as the team always emphasizes rest over playoff seeding. What’s great about Barbosa is that he is another veteran, but he still plays like a younger player. He can also help back-up point guard Rajon Rondo and that is crucial as the team was never able to find a pure backup point guard once Keyon Dooling retired. Jason Terry can play the position in spurts, but Barbosa offers more experience at that particular position. Barbosa also has a ton of playoff experience, from his time with the Phoenix Suns and last season, when he played for an Indiana Pacers team that came close to beating the Miami Heat.
Barbosa is also the type of player that will do what he’s told and will never think of himself as bigger than the team. That is critical as this team has so many different personalities. It is crucial to find the right fit, not just on the court, but off of it as well.
GM Danny Ainge made another excellent move today. He sat patiently, analyzed the remaining available free agents, and found a guy who can actually contribute to a playoff roster. Finding those types of guys in October is very rare and hats off to Ainge. He provided Rivers with another toy to play with and as the Celtics have found out in recent years, it can never hurt to have too much depth, and boy will they have it this season.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news, check out the team homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on twitter @rlunder18