Carlos Arroyo, waived by the Miami Heat to make room for Mike Bibby, was signed by the Boston Celtics last week. The move rounded out the final roster spot for the Boston Celtics, giving them the max number of contracts that an NBA team can have (15).
The move capped the end of a tumultuous trading deadline for the Celtics. Ideally, Arroyo will be the final piece to the championship puzzle.
But why exactly did the Boston Celtics choose to bring in Arroyo? They have arguably the best pure point guard in the NBA in Rajon Rondo, and a more than suitable backup in Delonte West. And Arroyo can at times be a liability on defense, something the Celtics certainly don't need.
So was Arroyo brought in purely to give the C's a competitive advantage over their Eastern Conference foes, the Miami Heat?
The simple answer is no, not at all.
Arroyo brings the type of player that the Celtics desperately need at this point in the season. When he first arrived in town, I thought little of his passing and ball-handling abilities, but both have shone through as certifiable talents.
With Delonte West's return from an ankle injury unknown, and just 19 games left on the schedule and a playoff berth guaranteed, the Celtics' biggest task from here on out will be integrating a bench of nearly all new players into a complex defensive and offensive system. Arroyo is the man to lead that charge.
Do you think the Celtics brought in Arroyo to gain a competitive advantage over Miami?
In his team debut, Arroyo showed his high basketball IQ when he ran a play that he hadn't yet practiced with the team. Just from his experience playing against the C's, Arroyo was familiar with an offensive set that the team runs. He was confident enough to call that play while on the floor.
Perhaps more importantly, Arroyo will help spell Rajon Rondo for the remainder of the season, giving the All-Star a chance to get some well-earned rest before the playoffs start. All season long, head coach Doc Rivers has yearned for the opportunity to cut down Rajon Rondo's minutes.
But the injuries to West and the lack of a true backup for Rondo have made it hard for Rivers to justify taking 'Jon off the court at all. The Celtics just don't function as well when Rondo is not on the floor.
As a result Rondo's averaged 38.0 MPG, good for 10th highest in the NBA. But with Arroyo, Rondo's minutes will start to creep lower and lower in anticipation of the playoffs.
When all is said and done, Arroyo might not even significantly crack the playoff rotation. But his added depth gives the Celtics an invaluable tool right now, when they need it most.
In reality, basketball isn't a complicated game. It's a game based on execution, not disguise or trickery. There's barely anything that Carlos Arroyo can tell the Celtics that they (and every other NBA team) don't already know about the Heat.
The fact of the matter is that the addition of Arroyo was predicated on basketball success. It should pay dividends down the stretch.
Dan is a Boston Celtics featured columnist. Follow him on twitter @dantheman_06.