- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Boston Celtics added more backcourt depth with Leandro Barbosa.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 deal. Boston now has 17 players on their roster, including two camp invites. Yahoo! Sports first reported the agreement.
One day after cutting ties with first-year guards Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith, the Celtics moved quick to add Barbosa to the mix. The nine-year veteran adds another former Sixth Man of the Year to their offseason haul (Jason Terry, the other) and gives Boston one more shoot-first guard that's also capable of handling the ball.
The Celtics initially expressed a desire to let a younger guard compete for a final guard spot, but when Christmas and Smith failed to distinguish themselves as potential ball-handlers this preseason, Boston altered its course and added Barbosa.
In nine seasons, the 6-foot-3 Barbosa averaged 12.5 points and 2.4 assists over 24.6 minutes per game. He'll join a backcourt that includes Terry, Rajon Rondo, Courtney Lee, and Avery Bradley.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers has already suggested Boston has maybe the deepest backcourt in the league when Bradley is healthy (he underwent double shoulder surgery and is projected at a mid-December return).
Barbosa adds speed and scoring, but can also handle the ball in Boston's by-committee approach. Rivers isn't worried about having a pure backup behind Rondo.
"Every team doesn’t have two great point guards," said Rivers. "Most teams don’t. I think when you count Courtney Lee and [Terry] and Avery, all three are ball-handlers -- none of the three are pure point guards. But they can certainly play the other."
Barbosa is the second Brazil native on the Boston roster, joining rookie center Fab Melo.
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