One day after hinting the C’s would give Chris Johnson another 10-day contract, Danny Ainge reversed course and elected to sign former Heat starter Carlos Arroyo to a minimum contract over the remainder of the season, according to The Boston Herald.
Arroyo, pending a physical, may join the team tomorrow in Milwaukee.
Arroyo had been waived by Miami earlier this week to make way for the team’s signing of Mike Bibby, and was one of two veteran playmakers the Celtics were looking at. The other was thought to be Antonio Daniels, the long-time veteran who is attempting a comeback with the Texas Legends of the NBDL.
CH’s Analysis: Sticking with this team’s current mantra of the past week where a new day = a new player, the Celtics have finally filled out their 15-man roster. And while I feel for the youngster Johnson not getting another shot to stick with the big boys, I’m a big fan of this signing for a few reasons.
To me, once Nate Robinson was dealt, this team needed depth at the point guard position, but let’s be real here first about this signing. In no way, shape or form, barring injury, will Arroyo see the floor for this team during the postseason. For the final 22 games however, with the race for homecourt advantage looming, a steady pro like Arroyo who can handle the ball and shoot from the mid-range is an incredibly valuable addition.
With Delonte West on the shelf for at least another game or two, and Von Wafer’s calf injury last night, the Celtics were essentially left with a backcourt bench of Avery Bradley…..and that’s it for the interim. Given the reality that Bradley is a 20-year-old who has played just double digit minutes just once this season, that really made getting another guard in here a big priority.
The minutes had started to get out of control for the C’s starters at the 1-3 spot, but Doc really expressed a lot of worry last night when it came to Rajon Rondo’s minutes, something that Arroyo’s presence should help address:
“The minutes today were more because of the Von [injury],” said Rivers. “I’ll keep [Allen and Pierce's] minutes down to that 35 [range]; Tonight, I didn’t. The guy I’ve got to keep down more is Rondo. Even though he’s young, he’s still playing too many minutes the last four or five games. With Delonte [West] out, that’s put a lot of stress on us as well.”
Rondo played 42 minutes last night overall. So with the sole alternatives, being rush West back a bit prematurely, keeping playing Rondo big minutes, or bringing in another guard, the latter choice wisely won out. Arroyo has more experience playing this year than both of the two other Boston buyout signees combined so it’s safe to say Danny did well here both for this year’s regular season and also giving the team some insurance for the postseason if Delonte or Rajon go down for a short stretch.
Secrets about the enemy?
Not that the Celtics need them, but I have to say I was pretty shocked that the Heat waived Arroyo last week in order to free up a roster spot because of this exact scenario. Also because they could have waived Jamaal Magloire over him too, but that’s another story. Look at this move though. Heck this could become Danny Woodhead Part Deux!….(ok not really, but I can dream) Still, this is a situation where this is a serviceable player that obviously knows the inner workings of that Heat locker room and playbook more so than anyone in the C’s organization. Will it help? That’s unclear, it undoubtedly can’t hurt though to find out.
Quick Scouting Report on Arroyo:
-Doesn’t get to the rim at all and if he does find a way there, finishes very poorly (45%)
-Strong midrange shooter
-Surprisingly accurate from downtown this year (43%, ten points above his career average)
-A huge upgrade over the present version of Avery Bradley
Arroyo is actually a guy I wanted the C’s to take a look at in the Summer of 2009 to help solve the team’s backup guard problem and spent a lot of time profiling his career back then, Here’s a few key excerpts from the article written in August 2009:
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.
As a third point guard, with that kind of pedigree, and a chip of his shoulder after being castoff by the Heat, I’m a big fan of this signing. And given the fact he’ll get a chance to prove himself right away, I think us Celtics fans will be pleasantly surprised (like we were with Nenad Krstic) on what Arroyo has to offer.