Friday , Dec , 21 , 2007 Oly Sandor

What Gary Payton Would Bring To Boston Celtics

Jesus Shuttlesworth, The Big Ticket, The Truth, and now The Glove? For those not up on nicknames, here’s the translation: Gary Payton wants to join Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and the new-look Boston Celtics …

The Boston Globe reports that Payton has interest in joining the Celtics:

Ex-Celtics point guard Gary Payton watched on television from his Las Vegas home Wednesday night as his former team lost to the Pistons. And once Chauncey Billups hit the winning free throws with a tenth of a second remaining, Payton called his agent.

"He called me and said, ‘Hey, I’m reminding you that the Celtics are a team I feel like I can help,’ " said agent Aaron Goodwin.

The Celtics have been pleased with the play of second-year point guard Rajon Rondo. But there has been a feeling that Boston still needs a veteran backup at the position.

My Very Quick Am Take: Jesus Shuttlesworth, The Big Ticket, The Truth, and now The Glove? For those not up on nicknames, here’s the translation: Gary Payton wants to join Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and the new-look Boston Celtics.

Of course, Payton is no longer a superstar and, if signed, would serve as a back-up table setter. Finding a second-unit point-guard became an issue for the Celtics following the Detroit-Boston game because the Pistons successfully applied full-court pressure on gunner Eddie House.

What would Payton add?

  • He’s an established veteran. Payton has been to three NBA finals and won the 2006 championship with the Heat. His experience would come in handy.
  • He’s a legitimate back-up point guard. Payton could check in for Rajon Rondo, run the offense, play a little defense, and talk some trash for ten-fifteen minutes per game.
  • He played for Boston in 2004-05 and clicked with the Celtics’ current coaching staff.

"I loved [Payton]," Doc Rivers said. "Gary was great. He was a professional. He’s a veteran, he knows how to play, and he’s tough. So I always liked him and he knows that. That’s probably why he wants to come. We had a terrific relationship."  (Boston Globe)

Boston currently has two roster spots available. Apparently, Celtic GM Danny Ainge and Payton’s representatives have been talking for some time.

The former All-Star, if he can keep his strong personality in-check, would help the Celtics.

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