The Celtics’ desire for help turned into a pressing need yesterday when tests revealed for certain that Leandro Barbosa will miss the rest of the season with a torn left ACL.
President of basketball operations Danny Ainge was already looking to fill out a roster thinned by injuries to starters Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger when Barbosa pulled up on a drive late in the third quarter of Monday’s loss in Charlotte. Ainge promised to add players by the Feb. 21 NBA trade deadline, but now he has to move faster.
“All three of them are real blows to us,” said Ainge. “First of all, we lose our star player and then Jared and then Barbosa. That’s devastating. We’re short on guards now, and we have to bring someone in. We have players we like in the D-League, and we have a little more than a week before the trade deadline. And we’ll explore all of that.
“Immediately we will probably bring someone in on a 10-day contract, and we’re going through all those names. There’s a lot of names actually, but it’s going to be very difficult to replace Leandro Barbosa.”
“Immediately” will likely mean the end of the All-Star break that starts tomorrow, and in terms of free agents, the Celtics are looking beyond the D-League and the U.S. border.
“There are guys playing all around the world, and I need to figure out when they may become available with their contracts,” said Ainge. “So there’s a lot to go through here.”
In addition, he must also weigh what he can sign now as a free agent against what could be available between now and next week.
“The problem with trades now is we don’t have enough bodies to trade,” Ainge said. “Like, we can’t afford to trade a big for a guard. It’s not like we have an excess amount of anything. We have nine or 10 players, and we’re not trading draft picks unless someone really special becomes available.”
Ainge, Celtics put on guard
Boston Herald | Feb 13