Boston Celtics

Agent: Celtics have shown interest in Pargo

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Agent: Celtics have shown interest in Pargo

HOUSTON Free-agent guard Jannero Pargo is among the players the Celtics have discussed as a possible roster addition.

"Yes, we have talked," Pargo's agent, Mark Bartelstein, told CSNNE.com. "But I know Danny (Ainge, Boston's president of Basketball Operations) is weighing a lot of different options right now, looking for what works best for them. We're doing the same thing, too."

Despite winning eight of its last nine games heading into the all-star break, Boston's roster has been decimated by season-ending injuries -- all within the last three weeks.

Those setbacks have really hit the C's hard in the backcourt where guards Rajon Rondo (torn right ACL) and Leandro Barbosa (torn left ACL and strained MCL) are both out for the season. In addition, the C's are without rookie forward Jared Sullinger who had season-ending back surgery.

It's clear that while the C's need talent in the worst way, there is a certain sense of urgency for them to add another player in the backcourt.

If Boston decides to pick up a guard via free agency, Pargo would easily be on the Celtics' short list. The 6-foot-1 guard recently completed a second, 10-day stint with the Atlanta Hawks and has appeared in 14 games this season -- seven with Atlanta and seven with the Washington Wizards.

Prior to Boston's 71-69 win over Chicago on Wednesday, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the C's will be in no rush to add another player even with a roster that now stands at just 10 healthy players -- among them Fab Melo who has appeared in just two games this season.

For now, Boston has just three guards on its roster -- Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. When Bradley got into early foul trouble against Chicago, the C's inserted Jeff Green -- the team's 6-9 backup small forward -- into the lineup at "shooting" guard.

It didn't create a huge mismatch for the Celtics, with Green guarding Chicago's Richard Hamilton who is 6-7.

But against teams with significantly smaller backcourts, there's the potential for it to become a major problem for the C's defensively.

Pargo would certainly help in that capacity.

But the benefit of adding Pargo or any player for that matter, might be even greater served in what they provide from a practice standpoint.

In the C's preparation for the Bulls, Paul Pierce said assistant coach and former NBA guard Tyronn Lue had to participate in the walk-through because of the team's lack of perimeter players.

"We have to have a guard, maybe another big man," Pierce said. "I think it's going to be necessary just to have some depth. Hopefully maybe they can contribute in a game."

Pargo has proven himself to be a solid NBA backup, having appeared in 443 games and another 40 in the playoffs.

Bartelstein said his client would ideally like to find a situation where he had a chance to play steady minutes, but added that's not the only thing he's interested in.

"He'd also like to be with a playoff team," said Bartelstein, who added that he has had ongoing conversations with a number of teams. "But really, it's about finding the right fit, the right situation for him."

Although Pargo has bounced around since entering the league undrafted in 2002, his brightest moment as a pro came in the 2008 playoffs when given an opportunity to play steady minutes.

Then with the New Orleans Hornets, Pargo filled in for an injured Chris Paul and put quite a scare in the San Antonio Spurs, who needed seven games to move on from their Western Conference semi-final matchup.

In that seventh game, Pargo had 18 points which included a trio of three-pointers. Prior to that, he had a 30-point game in New Orleans' first-round series against Dallas.

He became a free agent that summer and had a number of NBA suitors, but eventually signed a one-year, 3.8 million deal with Moscow Dynamo.

"He's definitely not afraid of the big moment, or taking the big shot," Bartelstein said. "But like I said, we're talking with some teams and hopefully we'll have something done soon for the rest of the season."

30 teams in 30 days: Grit-and-Grind days are over in Memphis

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30 teams in 30 days: Grit-and-Grind days are over in Memphis

We’ll take a look at all 30 teams in the next 30 days as they prepare for the 2017-2018 regular season, which is when the real fireworks begin! Today's team: The Memphis Grizzlies. 

Memphis is no different than any other NBA team when it comes to making changes.
 
It’s an inevitable part of the NBA.

 
There are changes, and then there’s losing Zach Randolph and Tony Allen to free agency.
 
They didn’t lose the face of their franchise.
 
They lost its backbone.
 
And when you throw in the departure of Vince Carter, the Grizzlies are getting younger and more athletic and maybe just as significant, further removed from the physical, rough-and-tough brand of basketball they played for years.

You’ll have to go to YouTube to see Grit-and-Grind anymore.
 
Still, this isn’t all that surprising when you consider they brought in a new coach last year, David Fizdale, who came from Miami but also spent time on the bench as an assistant in Atlanta and Golden State.

Those teams played a more position-less, free-flowing brand of basketball compared to the Grizzlies.
 
So what we’re starting to see now is a Memphis team that will eventually look and hopefully play, more akin to what their coach envisions.
 
While the DNA of this team has changed dramatically, the Grizzlies will still be among the teams battling for one of the last playoff spots in the West this season.
 
They return Marc Gasol who still ranks among the best centers in the NBA. They also have point guard Mike Conley Jr., who unfortunately still holds the title for the best veteran player to not be named to an NBA All-Star team.
 
He’s coming off his best season as a pro when he averaged career highs in scoring (20.5 points per game) and shooting (45.9 percent from the field, 40.7 percent on 3’s) along with 3.5 rebounds, also a career benchmark.
 
In addition, Conley’s 6.3 assists per game were just 0.2 assists away from tying his career best in that category.
 
But for Memphis to surprise many and extend its playoff run to eight years in a row, the Grizzlies’ inside-outside tandem of Gasol and Conley, will need help.
 
A healthy Chandler Parsons would be a huge boost.
 
One of the more versatile wing players in the league, injuries have left Parsons a shell of the player that he once was.
 
He has had each of his past three seasons end prematurely due to injuries, so it’s hard to imagine Memphis will be banking on him to be healthy enough to make a major impact on the team this season.
 
They added Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans, both from Sacramento, to the roster this season.
 
Both come into training camp competing for a starting job.
 
The Grizzlies also have high hopes for 6-9 forward Rade Zagorac, a second-round pick in 2016 acquired from Boston who spent an additional year overseas before coming over to the NBA.
 
The new faces will be critical to the success of Memphis in those post Grit-and-Grind era.
 
Key free agent/draft/trade additions: Ben McLemore (Sacramento); Tyreke Evans (Sacramento).
 
Key losses: Zach Randolph (Sacramento); Tony Allen (New Orleans); Vince Carter (Sacramento).
 
Rookies of note: Rade Zagorac; Ivan Rabb; Dillon Brooks.
 
Expectations: 33-49 (fourth in the Southwest Division, 11th in the West).
 

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