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Leandro Barbosa Has A Torn ACL, Will Be Out For Season

It appears the worst fears of the Celtics are close to being confirmed. After seeing Leandro Barbosa go down with a painful non-contact knee injury last night in Charlotte in the third quarter, it resembled an ACL injury given the fact Barbosa had to be carried off the floor by Fab Melo.

Now Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald is reporting that while the knee is being checked out today with an MRI, the news almost surely will not be good:


Just another brutal blow for the Celtics roster this season, as they lose one of their most explosive scorers coming off the bench who had excelled in the past couple weeks. Barbosa becomes the fifth Celtics player with a season-ending injury (Rondo, Sullinger, Wilcox, Green) in the past two seasons and puts the Celtics’ backcourt in a very tough spot in the short term with only three healthy guards on the roster.

So what happens now with Barbosa out?

First off, in the short term, look for the Celtics to sign a guard to a 10-day deal, maybe not by Wednesday’s game against the Bulls but certainly no later than the trade deadline next Thursday. The Celtics have a number of guard candidates with the Maine Red Claws in Shelvin Mack or Andre Barrett, two guys with significant NBA experience or they could look elsewhere within the D-League. Either way, the Celtics probably can’t afford to head out west with just three guards on the active roster for depth purposes, but there is also a possibility Ainge will wait until after the trade deadline to sign a 10-day deal to maintain roster flexibility for the deadline itself and any dealing that may occur.

Possible Trade Candidates?
If the team is looking for a long-term fix for the backcourt, they will surely test the trade waters for a deal. However, as is the case for any deal the C’s are looking for this year, there isn’t much they have of value to deal to find help on the trade market. Ainge won’t be dealing any first round picks for any short term fix and with only 10 healthy players on the C’s roster right now (including an unusable Melo) Ainge can’t afford to do much subtracting. Barring trading Courtney Lee or Brandon Bass for multiple bodies that can help fill the gaps in the front court or backcourt, I don’t expect Ainge to go this route.

Saying Goodbye to Barbosa
The Celtics have two open roster spots already but that number will grow in the coming days. With Barbosa just signed to a one-year deal, it’s almost a certainty the team will trade (for salary matching purposes) or release the speedy guard in the coming week to open up another spot for another guard. When all is said and done, the C’s one way or another will have 13 active players on their roster, but they need to be smart about fitting in bodies to fill those spots, since they’ll be cutting it dangerously close to the $74 million hard cap by bringing in three free agents.

Other Free Agent Possibilities
We’ll have more on these tomorrow in all likelihood, but if the C’s still decide to make a competitive run at he postseason, names like Keyon Dooling and Delonte West will inevitably surface, though I wouldn’t call either guy a likely possibility. There is more talent at the guard position than the front court has on the open market so look for the C’s to find some serviceable help.

  • ghoulbuns


  • 2p2d

    DO IT!
    Will it help? No.
    Will it be fun? Most definitely!

  • Danny

    there should be some kind of injury amnesty exception to the salary cap. When a team has three or more players suffer season ending injuries they should be allowed to go over the cap to replace them. This is ridiculous.

  • Buyout Barbosa and pay for his rehab. Ainge trade Bass to ATL Hawks for J.Smith, Lee & 1st round pick to Philly for E.Turner, and 2nd round pick to SA Spurs for D.Blair. Ainge sign S.Mack,D.West, and E.House.

    • KillerGymRat

      I do love the thought of making a play for J Smith, though I can't see them biting on Bass, Lee and even a 1st round pick. The Hawks want a young big and we could possibly land Josh with a package of Melo, Bass, Green and either a pick or cash considerations in a deal where we also get Ivan Johnson, or Stevenson. Altanta has enough cap space to absorb the difference. And we could then sign a D-League guard or maybe a league vet that gets waived to clear cap space.

      I hate Turner though (after he stepped over PP when he was on the floor) and think he's a punk, so I hope he never has the honor of wearing green.

    • CG12

      That sounds a lot like my boy Davonte (sp?) from last year with the crazy mass trade proposals.

      • The Cardinal

        Exactly. Just what we need – one or two more undersized forwards (among the other useless to worthless pieces). I've seen a lot of Josh Smith (I live in Metro Atlanta) and for the life of me, I don't understand the appeal.

        • KillerGymRat

          Statlines like monday: 26 pts 13 rebs 6 assists and 4/5 from 3 point line point to his appeal.

          I've seen enough of Smith to know he can be lazy, inconsistent and takes terrible shots from time to time. But he impacts the floor at both ends and is a big upgrade IMO from Green and Bass in defense and offense. Free throw shooting aside he's a beast of a player with a great all around game.

          And I'm curious how at 6' 9" he's undersized for a 4.

          A lineup such as this for next year certainly would be appealing, no?

          KG (C)
          Smith (PF)
          PP (SF)
          Bradley (SG)
          Rondo (PG)

          You still have Sully, Jet and Lee coming off the bench, the mid-level exceptions and Fab Melo.

      • CelticsBIG3

        Yes thats the same idiot.

      • Rav

        You mean that guy KIDprince22? That guy was hilarious/relentless!

        • yeah

          Definite CelticsHub classic.

  • KillerGymRat

    Just a thought: It really surprises me the CBA doesn't give teams relief when players go down with season ending injuries by exempting their remaining salaries from the cap or by exempting short term contracts signed for the remainder of the season for fill-in players at the same or less value of the current contracts. You can't plan for that and it happens to almost every team at some point. It's sad to think that with 3 key players down the cap limits a team from actually putting talent on the floor. But I guess that's just the way it is.

    • Danny

      Exactly how does the NBA expect a team to prepare for losing three guys to season ending injuries. There should be some kind of exception they can't realistically expect us to play the rest of the season with 9 guys. At this rate we are going to have to start pulling able bodies out of the crowd at the garden to fill out a roster.

  • elroz

    Delonte West? No Iverson – Iverson doesn't want to play anymore it seems….

    Delonte can step in a play D, pass, shoot … it might take him 10 games to get back, but with 3 guards, the Celtics can wait.

    Get Delonte.

    • OlSkool1972

      Wojonarski tweeted that they aren't considering Delonte West. He also says Shelvin Mack is a likely candidate. I like Delonte but they probably don't feel like babysitting anybody right now.

  • yeah

    Just sign Scal to all 3 open spots

    Or alternatively,

    Starting 5:
    PG: Scal
    SG: Scal
    SF: Scal
    PF: Scal
    C: Scal

  • Eben

    Just a thought… Had everyone played to their potential from the beginning of the season would all these injuries have happened or would minutes be balanced to let legs and backs rest. I know it is easy to think in hindsight but perhaps some of our players need to take this message into the coming seasons. No games can be taken for granted in the NBA.