Leandro Barbosa Denies Making Trade Request

5:28pm: Ainge told Greg Payne of ESPNBoston.com that Barbosa has not brought any trade request directly to him. He explained Barbosa's frustration with his playing time but denied that the veteran guard has asked to be traded:

"I think it's been hard for [Barbosa] not to get an opportunity to play as much as he's wanted, but we have said from the beginning, even before he signed here, that minutes might be difficult to come by, because we were deep at that position, and he still chose to come here," Ainge said. "Actually, early in the year he played more than I expected him to play, and he played pretty well. So I think that we have had a couple of conversations, just about his role and where it went and he seemed satisfied with it. But he's never demanded or asked to be traded or any of those things at all."

2:14pm: Barbosa strongly denied that he wants to be traded by the Celtics, and denied making the statements passed along by ESPN Brazil, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald (Twitter links). "No, I want to play," Barbosa said. "I want to be here. That's it."

1:10pm: In a recent radio interview, Leandro Barbosa revealed that he has asked to be let go by the Celtics, according to an ESPN Brazil report (hat tip to Sportando). It's not clear whether Barbosa is hoping for a trade or a buyout, since he talks about wanting to return to Brazil, but either way, it doesn't seem like it's an option team president Danny Ainge is eager to pursue.

It's possible that some details of the story are being lost in translation, but it's not hard to see why Barbosa may be frustrated with his role in Boston. The 30-year-old is playing just 10.7 minutes per game, by far his lowest mark since entering the league, despite a PER (15.4) that's in line with his career average. Additionally, he's earning a minimum salary for the Celtics after making $7.6MM in 2011/12, the final season of a five-year contract.

Barbosa's comments suggest that the Celtics would like to keep him on the roster for depth purposes, but with Avery Bradley back in the lineup, there aren't enough minutes to go around for all of the team's backcourt players. Barbosa is certainly someone to keep an eye on as the trade deadline approaches, since he could earn more minutes for a team in need of an inexpensive scorer.

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