The Boston Celtics are Jerryd Bayless‘ fifth team since he was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in the 2008 NBA draft, but the veteran point guard has adjusted quickly to a new city and new teammates.
“Everyone knows how fondly I felt about the city of Memphis, and that was difficult to leave. But it’s just part of how this industry is. It’s something that, as a player in the NBA, you have to deal with sometimes, and move on,” Bayless wrote Wednesday in a blog post on his website.
“I’ve done that, and embraced being here in Boston. Everything happens for a reason, and it’s been a great transition so far. The Celtics organization is wonderful. It’s one of the best organizations in any professional sport. I’m happy that I was traded here, and not somewhere else.”
Bayless has played in eight games for Boston this season after being acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 7 in a three-team trade that also involved the Oklahoma City Thunder. He’s averaged 7.1 points, 3.0 assists and 1.3 steals in 19.4 minutes per game.
The 28-year-old point guard will likely play the backup point guard role following the return of Rajon Rondo and the departure of Jordan Crawford. With Rondo and Bayless playing the point, the Celtics are able to have a quality perimeter defender on the court at all times. The relationship between Bayless and Rondo is already off to a great start.
“One of the great things about coming to the Celtics has been the opportunity to play with Rajon Rondo,” Bayless wrote. “Obviously, he’s the franchise player here, and we’ve been able to develop a pretty cool relationship in a short period of time. He’s one of the guys that I can really identify with on this team.”
Bayless had experience playing on young teams prior to his arrival in Boston, and it’s one of the reasons why he’s a good fit on a Celtics roster in transition. He understands what rebuilding teams must do to develop and get to the level where making the playoffs is an attainable goal.
“With any young team, one of the challenges is being ready to play every day. It’s a matter of finding that consistent approach, and that’s tough for guys who haven’t been in the NBA that long. Consistency is something even I’ve struggled with since I’ve been in the league. But that’s something as a team, we have to continue to get better at as well. Honestly, I think that’s the most important thing for us,” Bayless wrote.
“Making the playoffs is definitely a reasonable goal for this team, especially in the East. You just never know what will happen. I think we have the pieces, the right mind frame, and a great coach, so we should be able to accomplish that.”
Bayless missed Boston’s game in Miami on Thursday and could be out of the lineup for a little more than a week with a toe injury, but he’s already proven to be a quality addition to this roster in the short amount of time he’s been on the court. If he continues to play well at both ends of the floor when he returns from injury, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge would be wise to re-sign him before the summer.