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."

Highlights: Atlanta Hawks 114, Boston Celtics 98

Highlights: Atlanta Hawks 114, Boston Celtics 98

Tempers flared between the Celtics and Hawks, but Atlanta was able to get the best of Boston as they get the victory in the TD Garden.

Blakely: On surface Bogut makes sense for Celtics, but it comes down to chemistry

Blakely: On surface Bogut makes sense for Celtics, but it comes down to chemistry

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics got their butts kicked (again) on the boards Monday night by the Atlanta Hawks who defeated them 114-98.

The Celtics get their butts kicked most nights on the boards, and yet still find a way to win more often than not.

That’s why the possibility of adding Andrew Bogut who was bought out by Philadelphia is so intriguing.

Once he clears waivers on Wednesday, he’ll officially be a man in high demand with teams trying to show him love as if he was Kevin Durant or LeBron James.

But as much as the 31-year-old center on paper seems like a good addition to the Celtics roster because of his rebounding prowess and rim protection on defense, here’s what you have to keep in mind with Bogut or any other player Danny Ainge and the C's front-office brass decides to bring through that door.

Whatever team a new guy joins, he’ll look to play decent minutes and showcase his skills with unrestricted free agency around the corner this summer.

As far as Bogut is concerned, he's one of the more underrated members of Golden State's title squad in 2016.

Draymond Green's all-around game, Steph Curry’s 3-point bombs and Klay Thompson’s two-way talent were all key to the Warriors winning a title two years ago. But lost in their success among fans was Bogut’s defense which covered up for a lot of mistakes, miscues and blown assignments.

Whatever team Bogut signs with, ideally he would be looking to provide that same interior presence.

But here’s another issue.

Adding Bogut means waiving a player, most likely a young player that the Celtics will have essentially decided to give up on.

Since Bogut is a big, the logical target of being waived is Jordan Mickey.

The second-round pick from 2015 has shown improvement, but not nearly enough to garner steady minutes or even sporadic time on this roster.

Amir Johnson and Al Horford are the starters, with Kelly Olynyk and Jonas Jerebko rounding out their four-man big rotation so they're not going anywhere.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens typically plays those four bigs every night, so the idea of adding a fifth to the regular rotation doesn’t make sense.

Will one of those four be cool with not playing some nights or having their minutes severely carved up?

Would Bogut be cool with sometimes playing in games, or sometimes playing the role of waving a towel supporting his team from the bench?

And how does his presence affect chemistry which is a major deal for this team and its success this season.

Boston’s bigs in terms of rebounding, have not been good all season.

We can all agree on that.

And yet despite those struggles, they have the second-best record in the East (38-22) along with being a top-5 or top-6 team record-wise in the NBA.

They’re able to win because they have solid talent and Teflon-strong bonds to where they don't just play with each other, but for each other every night. 

We have seen stretches this season when the minutes have been cut or wiped out altogether for rotation players like Terry Rozier, Jonas Jerebko and Jaylen Brown.

And yet during the time when they are not playing as much, you never hear any public grumbling or private bickering among themselves or to the media.

There is a high level of accountability with Brad Stevens-coached teams that if you’re doing your job well, you’ll play. If not, your minutes might go to a teammate.

The best example of this came earlier this season when Gerald Green was essentially a practice player until Christmas Day when he came up big in Boston’s win over the New York Knicks.

Green saw more minutes going forward, but soon found himself struggling to get on the floor afterwards on some nights and the man whose minutes he took – Rozier – was back in the playing mix. 

During those times when Rozier wasn't playing, he said Green was a fixture in his ear, offering words of encouragement regardless of whether he was playing a lot or not at all. 

“Gerald’s always encouraging me, encouraging the young guys to just keep working, be patient and when your time comes, run with it,” Rozier recently told CSNNE.com. “He’s been a great vet for us young guys.”

And while Bogut wouldn’t come in looking to mess with the team’s chemistry, that doesn’t matter.

Anytime a new guy is added to the mix, it has the potential to be a really good pick-up or a potentially catastrophic equation of subtraction by addition.

In talking with a league executive who Bogut played for earlier in his career, he said Bogut would be a good addition to the Celtics roster from a basketball standpoint.

“But you never know about how they fit outside of that,” the executive told CSNNE.com. “As we’ve seen, sometimes it’s just as important that guys click off the court as it is that they can play together on it. I don’t think that would be an issue, but with new guys and not knowing how that locker room works and its dynamics, you just never really know how it’ll play out.

The executive added, “But if they can get him after the Philly buyout, do it. He can help them. His strength is their weakness; it makes a lot of sense for both sides honestly.”