Barbosa gets his feet wet at Celtics practice

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Barbosa gets his feet wet at Celtics practice

WALTHAM Leandro Barbosa is getting a crash course in what it takes to play for the Boston Celtics.

With the team set to start their season in six days, Barbosa worked with Celtics staff on Monday and Tuesday two days that Rivers gave off for the rest of his team.

On Wednesday, Barbosa took part in his first real practice with the team.

"It was a good practice," Barbosa said. "I have to get to know the plays from the defensive standpoint and all the things that they've been doing at training camp when I wasn't here. I think it was OK. The coaches have been giving me a lot of attention at the beginning, but also the players have been helping too."

C's coach Doc Rivers, who said Barbosa could play either guard position, was happy with what he saw.

"He was terrific. He's been here for three, four days so the last two days we ran him through all the stuff so he had a concept of what we were running, Rivers said. "He's played against us for so long, so that helped as well. But he had a great practice."

Barbosa admitted that he hadn't been playing much basketball in Brazil, but conditioning seemed fine. That said, the team didn't do any full-court action today. Tomorrow they look to go up and down, and that could determine just where he's at in his conditioning.

Going into his 10th year in the NBA, he's been on some deep teams with the Phoenix Suns, and also won a Sixth Man of the Year Award while there. But Barbosa has averaged 24.6 minutes per game in his career. With Rajon Rondo, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, and eventually Avery Bradley, those minutes will undoubtedly shrink by a lot. That seems fine by Barbosa.

"Yes, I'm OK for whatever," he said. "Whatever minutes I have on the court I'm going to try to do my best and help my teammates. But if I don't come to the court it's fine for me too as long as the team is successful."

Rajon Rondo sees one thing right away that Barbosa can bring with him on the court.

"Speed," said Rondo.

Speed, OK. But they already have speed . . .

"We don't need more but it's nice to have more. More is better," Rondo said.

Rondo also noted that Barbosa was "very vocal" on the court as the point guard today.

"He moved Jet (Jason Terry) to the side and I think they both liked that situation because Jet is more of a scoring point guard. And Barbosa set a lot of those guys up today in practice."

So while Rivers looks to play Barbosa at both guard positions, it looks like he'll fit in nicely at the point.

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum was all smiles after hearing his named called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as the number 3 pick by Boston in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

And as he made his way towards the commissioner and put on the customary Celtics hat, a bright future surely awaited him.

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But is it going to be in Boston?

CSNNE.com confirmed an earlier report by Yahoo Sports! the Vertical that the Celtics were indeed engaged in trade talks with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is no stranger to taking chances that most GMs would not consider or take a pass on.

Trading for George, who informed the Pacers that he would not re-sign a long-term deal with them and would instead prefer to play for the Los Angeles Lakers when he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, is a huge risk.

While the particulars of the possible trade are still being discussed, Boston will likely have to include the number three pick – Jayson Tatum – in a deal for George.

Ainge appears willing to gamble that a season in Boston will be enough to convince George to re-sign a long-term deal in the summer of 2018 which would be a win-win in terms of bolstering their chances to compete with Cleveland for Eastern Conference supremacy, and keep him away from the Lakers.

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Celtics draft pick Jayson Tatum will go from one highly regarded coach to another, and he said shortly after being drafted that Mike Krzyzewski had nothing but good things to say about Brad Stevens. 

Tatum said Coach K’s praise for Stevens came after the Celtics traded the first overall pick, thus establishing they would not be selecting Markelle Fultz. 

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“He called me and talked about that Boston was wanting me to come up there for a workout. He was just ranting about how great of a person Brad Stevens is, and [that] Coach K would love the opportunity if they would pick me and he really wanted me to go up there and work out for them,” Tatum said. “I was all for it. It worked out. I had a great time up there on my visit and obviously they enjoyed me.”

Krzyzewski and Stevens coached against each other in the 2010 national championship, which Duke won by two points when Gordon Hayward’s potential game-winning half-court shot nearly went in, but hit the rim. Hayward and Stevens could be reunited this offseason given that the veteran forward will be a free agent.

Tatum spent one year at Duke, averaging 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.