The Globe is reporting this morning that Gary Payton wants to join the Celtics.
"He called me and said, 'Hey, I'm reminding you that the Celtics are a team I feel like I can help,' " said agent Aaron Goodwin.
If the Pistons game showed us one thing, it is that we still need a veteran PG to back up Rondo. The Celtics have maintained that Eddie House can fill that position but it was very obvious from this game that we need a real PG for when Rondo is out.
Rondo has been doing a fantastic job of manning the point as a starter but he can't play 48 minutes every game. We don't need a vet who thinks he should be the starter. We need someone for when Rondo is in foul trouble and for those hopefully few times when Rondo is out with an injury. For teams that don't press and who aren't veteran saavy, Eddie House is ok. He is a shooting guard who thinks shoot first. He is best on the catch and shoot. But as the Pistons game showed, when a team presses, he just can't handle it.
Enter Gary Payton. Yes, he is 39 years old and is more like a Mitten these days than the Glove, but, he keeps himself in terrific shape and seems like the perfect answer to the back up PG position. Last season he played in 68 games and averaged 5.3 points, 3 assists, 1.9 rebounds and .6 steals in 22.1 minutes per game. For the Celtics, it would be perfect if he could play the 10-15 minutes per game that Rajon is out of the game for whatever reason. He wouldn't insist on getting big minutes or taking anything away from Rondo and would be the perfect mentor for our young PG's emergence. He know's Doc's system so there wouldn't be a lot of time to get acclimated. The last time he was with the Celtics he led us to the Division championship. We don't need that from him now, just a solid 10 minutes or so per game. He can give us that.
Danny was looking to give Reggie Miller a chance and he was already out of the league a couple of years. Payton played last season. Reggie didn't really fill a need on the team but Payton does. I like this idea. Payton would add to that intensity that Garnett and Allen bring. He seems like the perfect fit.
"Just knowing [Payton] and playing with him, I know what he brings to the game," said James Posey, who played with Payton the last two seasons in Miami. "He brings that competitive nature. That experience. He's been doing it. Even before we won a ring in Miami, people understood what he brings to the table."
I, for one, would love to see Danny give Payton a shot. He would sign for the veteran minimum and be happy to back up Rondo and mentor him. He would be the perfect fit to fill in the 10 mpg that Rondo has to sit and would be a very suitable fill in if Rondo has to miss a game or two. He knows the system already. He has that same intensity and work ethic that our 3 stars have. He is a professional and would bring more championship saavy to the team. I don't really see any drawbacks to signing him other than financial. But, they have come this far and if they want to win the championship, this is a position they must fill.