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Did Danny Ainge deny Leandro Barbosa’s trade request?

Posted By Ben Rohrbach On January 17, 2013 @ 2:19 pm In General | 15 Comments

Celtics guard Leandro Barbosa [1] asked Danny Ainge to be either traded or released, but the C’s president of basketball operations “will not let me go,” Barbosa told a Brazilian sports radio station [2] (h/t CelticsBlog [3]).

Here’s the rough Portuguese-to-English translation from Google Chrome:

“I will not lie to you: I tried to get out several times, but Danny Ainge does not want to let me go,” Barbosa told Bradesco Sports FM. “He’s a guy that admires my basketball skills for many years. I was supposed to have got a good contract with the Boston Celtics [4], but did not. He will not let me go.”

The fifth guard on the roster after Avery Bradley [5]s return to the backcourt, Barbosa’s 10.7 minutes and 4.9 points per game are both career lows, and Celtics coach Doc Rivers [6] failed to bring the explosive scorer off the bench on Wednesday until it was too late in a game tailored for his instant offense.

“I should’ve played LB earlier when we were struggling for energy,” Rivers said after the 90-78 loss to the Hornets. “He’s an energy guy. It was easy [to say] now, obviously, but that’s what I’ll probably see when I watch the film.”

In the final 2:35 of the fourth quarter, Barbosa scored seven points on four shots. His 36-minute averages of 16.5 points (44.2 FG%, 39.3 3P%), 4.1 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals aren’t far off from 2006-07, when he won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year honor, and they’re superior across the board to fellow offensive-minded guard Jason Terry [7]‘s 36-minute averages of 12.8 points (42.5 FG%, 36.1 3P%), 2.9 assists, 2.5 boards and 1.2 steals.

Then again, the C’s committed $15 million over the next three seasons to the 35-year-old Terry and only spent the $1.2 million veteran minimum on the 30-year-old Barbosa for this year. It’s pretty clear why Barbosa would want out of Boston, and it’s evident why Ainge & Co. would want to keep him around for insurance purposes.

Evidently frustrated by being pigeonholed mainly into a backup point guard role behind Rajon Rondo [8] rather than the 2-guard position he thrived in alongside Steve Nash [9] in Phoenix from 2003-10, Barbosa added: “A lot will happen. In a little while, you will hear a firecracker there.”

(Oddly, Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap recently compared the two point guards earlier this week: “[Rondo] puts the ball in the middle of the paint and operates there. So, he’s like a post guy. He [essentially] makes a post pass to himself, much like Nash. He just puts it exactly where he wants it, and he distributes.”)

Barbosa’s comments sure sound like he could present a problem that’s not going to go away anytime soon. How much this weighs on the locker room could force Ainge’s hand into finding a trade partner or releasing Barbosa outright. You’ll remember Ainge dropped the less valuable Jermaine O’Neal [10] after similar grumblings last season.


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URL to article: http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2013/01/17/did-danny-ainge-deny-leandro-barbosas-trade-request/

URLs in this post:

[1] Leandro Barbosa: http://media.weei.com/basketball/leandro-barbosa.htm

[2] told a Brazilian sports radio station: http://espn.estadao.com.br/noticia/304011_ignorado-leandrinho-pediu-para-sair-dos-celtics-rejeitou-fla-e-diz-que-jogaria-no-corinthians?timestamp=1358437609760

[3] CelticsBlog: http://www.celticsblog.com/2013/1/17/3887144/nba-trade-rumors-leandro-barbosa-has-requested-trade-expects-one-soon

[4] Boston Celtics: http://media.weei.com/basketball/boston-celtics.htm

[5] Avery Bradley: http://media.weei.com/basketball/avery-bradley.htm

[6] Doc Rivers: http://media.weei.com/basketball/doc-rivers.htm

[7] Jason Terry: http://media.weei.com/basketball/jason-terry.htm

[8] Rajon Rondo: http://media.weei.com/basketball/rajon-rondo.htm

[9] Steve Nash: http://media.weei.com/basketball/steve-nash.htm

[10] Jermaine O’Neal: http://media.weei.com/basketball/jermaine-oneal.htm

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