Celtics officially sign Pavlovic

Celtics officially sign Pavlovic
March 3, 2011, 7:39 pm
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By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

WALTHAM As expected, the Boston Celtics announced Thursday the signing of Sasha Pavlovic.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, confirmed to CSNNE.com after Wednesday's 115-103 win over Phoenix that the Celtics had come to terms with the 6-foot-7 forward.

By adding Pavlovic, the C's now have 14 players with guaranteed contracts on the roster.

Boston also has center Chris Johnson, whose 10-day contract is set to expire this weekend.

Pavlovic participated in his first Celtics practice on Thursday.

"I'm happy to be here," Pavlovic said. "I talk to Danny Ainge. I talk to coach (Rivers). They like me be here. Whatever they ask me to do, I'm going to do it."

The 27-year-old swingman will be called upon to provide added depth at the shooting guard and small forward positions.

As far as playing time, it's unlikely that he'll garner major minutes.

But with Delonte West (right ankle) and Glen Davis (left knee) out until sometime next week, the C's will dig a little deeper into their bench for players to contribute.

That might result in opportunities for Pavlovic, who has appeared in 466 NBA games and has career averages of 5.4 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.

One of Pavlovic's strengths that's seldom talked about, is his size.

He's 6-7, but weighs about 235 pounds - about five pounds heavier than Paul Pierce.

That size combined with a decent amount of athleticism, allows Pavlovic the ability to defend players with size at the small forward or shooting guard positions.

"I think I do pretty good defensively, and I can fast break, shoot open 3s," Pavlovic said. "But like I said, I'm going to keep it simple. There's a lot of great players on this team."

The addition of Pavlovic is another player head coach Doc Rivers has to figure out how best to utilize.

"One of the things we've always liked about him, is he's a competitive defender," Rivers said. "He doesn't back down from any guys. I think he can fit in well with us. He's a skilled player as well. I think he can fit in that way as well."

The addition of Pavlovic gives the C's added depth at the shooting guard and small forward positions. He appeared in 14 games this season, 10 of which were with the Dallas Mavericks.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle told CSNNE.com that Pavlovic is "a very solid player."

In his eighth NBA season, Pavlovic has appeared in 466 career games with Utah, Cleveland, Minnesota, New Orleans and Dallas.

He is expected to be in uniform on Friday against Golden State, and said he will wear jersey number 77.

"When they called and told me what numbers are available, it wasn't too much," Pavlovic said. "So I took 77. There is no meaning to it."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn