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A Closer Look at Carlos Arroyo

 

Carlos-Arroyo_295_050602A new rumor on the Celtics backup point guard front broke late last night courtesy of a report filed on Truehoop by ESPNDeportes.com reporter Alfredo Berrios. A few nuggets of interest from the story:

Carlos Arroyo is ready to return to the NBA. However, the Puerto Rican guard, who last played in the NBA with the Orlando Magic, won’t reveal the names of the teams that are allegedly having talks with his agent — not until the FIBA Americas Championship in San Juan concludes.

“There are some opportunities that we’re considering. Negotiating a contract is a pretty slow process,” Arroyo said. “But my focus is totally on Puerto Rico’s national team. My mind and heart needs to be here.”

According to several sources, Arroyo, represented by Leon Rose, is in talks to join either the Boston Celtics or the Milwaukee Bucks. However, both teams told ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan that they have had no contact whatsoever with Arroyo or his representatives.

On Saturday, El Nuevo Dia, a newspaper out of Puerto Rico, reported that Arroyo was close to signing a deal with the Chicago Bulls. According to the report, the agreement would be for one season and $1 million.

Arroyo guided Maccabi Tel Aviv last season to an Israeli Premier League Championship and was named MVP of the finals.

The news of the C’s potential interest in Arroyo is an encouraging situation for me, for a couple reasons. First and foremost Carlos Arroyo, despite being out of the league last year would be a significant upgrade talent wise over any of the remaining alternatives on the point guard scrapheap.

Before we go any further though, let’s first get up to speed on the Puerto Rican point guard currently playing for his nation in the FIBA Championship. Arroyo has bounced around to five teams over his seven year NBA career showing flashes of brilliance along the way. The 30 year old guard was anointed John Stockton’s heir apparent back in 2003 while showing terrific distribution skills and a nice shooting touch on his way to a career year of 12.6 points and 5 assists a game for the 2003-04 Utah Jazz.

The honeymoon ended quickly for Arroyo in 2004 who began to earn a questionable reputation around the league by butting heads with coach Jerry Sloan. This turmoil led to Arroyo being shipped out of town to the Pistons for virtually nothing (Elden Campbell) midway through the 04-05 season.

Arroyo served adequately as a backup point guard for that Pistons team and the Orlando Magic through the majority of next couple seasons. During his 07-08 campaign Arroyo lost the backup job in the early months of 2008 to Keyon Dooling in Orlando, as once again another coach appeared to lose patience in him. In this case it was Zach Lowe’s favorite whiner Stan Van Gundy.

If you can get past his off the court antics, Arroyo’s career numbers show a guy who is only one year removed from bring an extremely capable backup in the NBA. The guy can stroke the long ball at a decent clip (35% during 07-08 season, 32% for his career) and has also been characterized as a skilled passer with good vision. Arroyo has averaged 3.3 assists for his career in only 18 minutes per game, an impressive number given a lack of heavy playing time. Defensively, Arroyo’s play is reportedly below average but sustainable in a backup role from most accounts.

Arroyo’s success last year leading his Israeli team to a Championship and earning the finals MVP would seem to indicate his skillset has not fallen off too far last season, all though the playing level between the two leagues are not exactly a good barometer.

One bit of concern I had when looking through his scouting reports is Ben Q Rock’s from Third Quarter Collapse concerns over his on the floor decision making. Since Ben has watched the guy for the better part of three seasons with Orlando, I looked at his take quite closely when he profiled Arroyo earlier this offseason for the Magic’s backup point needs. An excerpt from his report:

Part of me thinks Arroyo would be a solid, safe choice. The other part of me recalls his at times poor decision-making–we’re calling Hedo Turkoglu-esque levels of befuddlement here

Questionable on the floor decisions are admonished by Celtics coaches, brass, and fans so a susceptibility to this kind of play could force the team to think twice about bringing a guy like Arroyo in, who has been a headache for his teams in more than a few locations. All things considered though, I’d love to see the team take a flier on the guy. More thoughts on how Arroyo could fit in after the jump

The C’s clearly have a crowded roster station right now with only one free roster spot available once Marquis Daniels finds his way to town. Despite the large number of bodies, and the team’s significant upgrade of their bench depth this offseason, I still worry about the team’s backcourt depth as it currently stands for a couple reasons.

1) What happens if Rajon Rondo does down?
The team has stated they would be potentially willing to go it alone with Marquis Daniels and Eddie House as backups for the PG slot. However given Rondo’s propensity to sprain ankles every 10 games, I worry about the team’s depth at this spot if Rondo goes down for any considerable length of time. Sure these guys could theoretically handle 15-20 minutes a game at the backup spot, but what happens if that number jumps up to 48? I don’t want to envision a scenario like that.

With Arroyo though, the C’s could have a natural point that could slot into Rondo’s role as a distributor if number 9 were to go down. Clearly, there would be a dropoff in production from the position but it could be a lot less drastic with a natural distributor like Arroyo filling the role.

2) Even if Rondo is healthy all year, how will Paul Pierce and Ray Allen’s minutes be reduced if Marquis Daniels and Eddie House are forced to play some point?

We all ready discussed above the scenario of Daniels and House playing point and it’s clearly possible that Bill Walker could be the guy this year to take over those minutes at the backup 3 for Pierce as Brendan Jackson noted earlier this week if those two were relegated to guard spots. I would like this scenario of Walker as a backup 3 to be more of a pleasant surprise for Doc Rivers, rather than a situation he is relying upon to fill those minutes.

Bringing in Arroyo for the C’s would allow House to play primarily the 2 where he and the team excels the most with him in the game. Daniels could also be shifted between the 1, 2 and the 3 at will based on matchups, maximizing the number of options Doc would have with his bench.

Now all of this talk about Arroyo could become mute extremely quickly if the Puerto Rican signs with one of his other potential suitors or if the C’s interest has been overstated. However, even without Arroyo, my concerns and questions about the depth in the backcourt still stand. Obviously, bringing in a bottom of the barrel point guard backup just to have one would be rather pointless given the C’s lofty goals this year. I would love to see Danny somehow try to maneuver his way into finding a capable backup one to fill out the team’s bench and create stability and depth in the backcourt.

My hope is Arroyo is that guy since Danny clearly does not have a lot of trade chips to work with. What is everyone’s feeling on this though? Would you like to see Arroyo in Green or am I overrating him here? And do you share my questions about the team’s lack of depth in the backcourt? I’m curious to hear everyone’s take on this.

  • jyoung4

    I like Arroyo, he is starting NBA talent, and would be great as a back up. However, part of me really likes Gabe Pruitt and wished the Celts would find a way for him to be on the roster and see minutes.

    http://www.BasketballinBlog.com – NBA News/Discussion

  • liban

    i like the idea of bringing arroyo even though i prefer someone like bobby jackson,however, there is no dought that the team needs a back-up point guard.

  • KY Celts fan

    i like the idea of arroyo more than any of the other options out there, especially bringing back marbury.

    i've never liked the idea of House or Daniels playing point, so if Arroyo is there, I say it's a yes.

  • Rene Baltazar

    I'd go for Arroyo. Then trade Scal and Tony Allen for Rajah Bell. I agree with a back-up opposite Rondo who is a distributor. A scorer makes the team more potent offensively. Besides, he's played with Sheed in Detroit(or did he) which will make comfortable with the C's

  • Carlos PR

    That's my guy. I'm puertorican and I really know fron what i've seen from him that he is playing the best basketball of his career. He would be a tremendous pick, a very athletic point guard who could do the job very well and compliment our players. Besides we do really need a true point guard. Also Eddie House would far better playing the 2 spot. Imagine this: Carlos Arroyo, Eddie House, Marquis Danils, Big Baby Davis & Rasheed Wallace. Wouldn't That Lineup be great for a second team? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • http://celticshub.com Gene Balo

    Carlos Arroyo would make a good substitute for Rondo. Arroyo has a solid experience and has excellent ball handling skills.

  • TelAvivian

    I watched Arroyo last year all year long when played for Maccabee Tel Aviv – I can strongly confirm that his decision making and defense are not in the level you want for the Celtics. He was a good scorer, but it won't work with NBA defence… Please, let's look for another solution…

  • UK CAT

    Carlos, I agree with you for the most part. Big Baby should be our backup center, and Rasheed should play the 4. Baby is not athletic enough to guard 4s in this league, and is much more efficint playing the 5. Rasheed will still defend against Shaq, Howard, Bynum, but other than that Baby is better suited using his weight at center.

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  • BigDev

    Arroyo is the way to go…who knows how it will shake out, but he could be just the guy the C's are looking at to back up Rondo.

  • Still enjoying #17

    I agree with Carlos too. I mean, what are our alternatives at the point? Daniels or House? Arroyo is a fomer NBA starter who will be able to fill the void at that position. When we were all first having the PG discussion a few months ago, Arroyo wasn't on the radar…..now, he is available. Let's sign him!

  • Carlos PR

    Thank you UK Cat & Still Enjoying #17 for your support. All I can tell you is that Arroyo as of today he is looking as the MVP for tha classificatory tournament to Turkey 2010 World Championship. He is all around and has a maturity that would really help us.

  • Michael

    Maybe he made some bad decisions with TelAviv more due to a lack of confidence in teammates than a lack of ability to make the right decision. That would make him a great fit here because with the addition of Arroyo, there's not a guy on the first two units that you would reasonably doubt. Besides, Iverson made bad decisions all career and still won an MVP! I'm not seriously comparing the two, but for $1-$2 mil, this pick up is a no brainer. If he remains hard-headed, it's a relatively inexpensive mistake. Even if he's not a great fit, he's still best option right now.

    I say do this if we can. I remain concerned about the future if we don't invest in someone like Hudson, but Arroyo is clearly the best guy for the win now mentality. With the 2nd team that CarlosPR suggests above, we have the most offensively potent 2nd team in the league, to go along with the most balanced and proven first team, plus room to absorb injuries.

  • Carlos PR

    There you go Michael!! Lets everyone root for that signing. We would have a very balanced team. So bad Leon Powe isn't around.Could you imagine?

  • http://espn.com Henry

    Hi! I'm a Celtic fans since way back, what i see is the team don't need a back up point guard but rather a big strong defensive backup center (much like P.J. but definitely not Moore) to match up with Bynum or Howard, maybe someone over 7ft. could do, coz Daniels, House, T. Allen etc. can play some point when Rondo takes a breather. But if regarding Arroyo he is a more than capable PG, maybe sign him then try to trade Tony Allen & Scalabrine for a Big Center. Then our team will definitely be unbeatable.

  • http://espn.com jonathan lugo

    well to be real honest not because i'm puertorican am not gonna sit here and say he's the best back up, but he is good but the real talented back up for that posicion was stephon marbury and is sad he didn't get to play with garnett on the court, and arroyo would fit in the team just like marbury did. and my real opinion stephon if not i'll take carlos arroyo all day an a blink !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Michael

    glad to see this discussion still moving along! Come late season, integrating a new PG would be much harder than a veteran big. Let's get Arroyo then hopefully work a late season trade for a big, or just put TA on waivers and pick someone up. We do have Scal to play minutes at PF if we need it. I believe the combo of Perk and Sheed will be enough D at center, possibly with Shelden coming in to hack-a-Shaq/Howard/?. I'm not worried about Bynum, he is talented for sure, but extremely unproven durability.

  • Jon

    Carlos Arroyo can be an execellent back up PG who can also give you outstanding minutes as a starter when his number is called. I've been watching the FIBA Americas tournament and he will most likely be the tournament MVP. His TO ratio is outstanding and he can also run the pick an roll with the best. He will be ar great pickup.

  • Jon

    Rumor has it Rondo is PR at the moment with another Celtic watching the FIBA tournament. Carlos Arroyo also sees the floor very well and can pass with the best. He can be a great addition to the Celtics.

  • jordan23

    Good idea. Carlos is a natural PG, If Daniel or House play a PG role, the offesive can slow.

  • Rafi

    Carlos Arroyo is the best option for the Celtics. He will do an excellent job as PG. So C's what are you waiting to sign him.

  • NBA Scout

    Rondo, needs a real PG for the season. Paul Pierce can't be the 2nd in assists per game for the team. We really need a PG like Carlos Arroyo, that can create for other players and still shoot the ball when needed. House or Daniels are Offensive minded players, neither of them can't really create for others. Ainge is your call, but I will take Carlos Arroyo. I hope you watched the FIBA Tournament, but the team that gets Arroyo, they will had the best backup PG of the league.

  • http://Truehoop.com Eguison

    No better choice. Hand skills, experience,good decision making, perimeter view and at recent FIBA Americas tournament once again proved what he's made-off. Would be great for the C's have a starting point guard as Back-up. Very few lesions on his record, good condition like always.

    He always find the open man with extremely ease. Would like to see Garnett and Wallace completing his assists. Go Carlos!!

  • Celtic's Fan

    The Celtics needs a real backup PG, with Garnet healthy, and Arroyo handling the 2nd unit we should get to the finals. In addition, if something happens to Rondo, he can start for the team easily, with all the experience that he already had in the NBA and at the International Level. Hope we had this guy for this season.

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