NBA Rumors: Mickael Pietrus Will Give Celtics Much-Needed Depth This Season

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 26, 2011

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 13:  Mickael Pietrus #12 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the NBA game against the Orlando Magic at US Airways Center on March 13, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics have signed Mickael Pietrus to the veterans minimum but the shooting guard did not play against the New York Knicks on Sunday and likely won't play in the team's next two games against the Miami Heat on Tuesday and the New Orleans Hornets on Thursday.

The earliest Pietrus could undergo a physical exam would be tomorrow, and particular attention will be paid to the condition of the knee. Swelling in the joint forced Pietrus to flunk a physical in Toronto just over a week ago, nullifying a trade between the Raptors and Phoenix Suns.

Despite recovering from knee surgery in July, Pietrus appears ready for a return in the near future, which is good news for Celtics head coach Doc Rivers who badly needs another wing player for his team.

The Celtics' lack of depth was on full display against the Knicks, as Sasha Pavlovic had to start at small forward for the injured Paul Pierce.

Pavlovic scored zero points in 15 minutes and did not even attempt a shot. Another one of Pierce's replacements, Marquis Daniels, played good defense but scored only four points on 2-of-8 shooting.

Pietrus will give the Celtics good perimeter defense, but his real strength is his good outside shooting. His ability to consistently hit three-point shots will open up the floor for Pierce and point guard Rajon Rondo to have enough room to drive to the basket and score.

The Celtics need depth not only to win games, but to keep aging stars Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Pierce healthy and fresh for the playoffs. Boston cannot make a deep postseason run if their "Big Three" is not fully healthy heading into May.

Pietrus was a good signing for the Celtics who desperately need another athletic wing player who can knock down shots from the outside.

He also has experience in the playoffs and played in the NBA Finals with the Orlando Magic back in 2009.

Pietrus' combination of outside shooting, defense and experience will really benefit the Celtics who are a team in need of a versatile player who can give Pierce and Allen a rest each night.