Let me get this straight – Danny Ainge is able to sign Leandro Barbosa for the veteran’s minimum??? Talk about a deep discount – Barbosa cost the Indiana Pacers a cool $7 million last season, and the journeyman guard from Brazil was a solid player for Larry Bird’s Indy Boyz. And now Barbosa is ours for the season, another solid contributor who will come off the bench and help the Celtics push the ball on offense and D it up on the other end.
Word on the street is that Barbosa isn’t Mickael Pietrus on the defensive end. But he’s younger and more athletic, so you have to figure that he’s going to be more active and less injury prone. I hear the criticism that Barboso is undersized at 6’3″, and that his best years may be behind him at the relatively young NBA age of 29. I get that. I get all of that.
And while Barbosa may not rekindle the fire that earned him the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award following the 2006-07 season with the Phoenix Suns, something tells me that there’s plenty of good basketball left in those legs and in that greyhound-like body.
From where I’m sitting, this signing was a no-brainer. The veteran’s minimum, are u kidding me? The Celtics have just signed another player with playoff experience, which is something that Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith couldn’t bring to the table. He’s not a pure point guard, so there will be a select group of critics who will rag on Barbosa’s ball-handling skills. I say to hell with that. Barbosa can handle the ball well enough to give Rajon Rondo a blow. If you go back to the pre-Big Three Era, the Celtics utilized Tony Delk in a similar capacity.