12:12pm: Ainge also spoke to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe, expressing in even stronger terms that no teams have inquired on Rondo and that he doesn’t expect any clubs to do so.
“Rondo is coming off an injury and I think people know how much we love Rondo, so I don’t expect anybody to inquire, quite honestly,” Ainge said. “People know that Rondo is a big part of our future and that we’re not going to trade him.”
I find it hard to believe that not one team has at least kicked the tires on Rondo, but either way, he seems to be unavailable. In Ainge’s words: “He’s going nowhere.”
11:57am: In what has become an annual ritual, Celtics GM Danny Ainge denied having trade talks about Rajon Rondo, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. Previous reports have suggested that the Knicks inquired on the injured point guard, but Ainge wouldn’t confirm having talked to New York.
“I haven’t talked to any teams about Rajon Rondo,” said the Celtics GM, adding that Rondo remains very much a part of the club’s plans going forward.
I’m inclined to believe that the Knicks at least asked about Rondo, though based on the rumored package they suggested, it makes sense that the conversation wouldn’t have lasted long. So perhaps when Ainge says he hasn’t spoken to any teams about his point guard, he means he hasn’t actually entered any negotiations beyond that initial inquiry.
Rondo has been subject to trade rumors in the past, despite Ainge’s repeated public insistence that Boston isn’t looking to trade the last key member of the club’s championship core. According to Bulpett, the recent reports prompted several other teams to call Ainge and inquire about Rondo’s availability, which the C’s GM referred to as “frustrating.” I expect Ainge will be frustrated a few more times before February’s trade deadline, since the interest in Rondo should only increase as he gets healthier.