1:25pm: The team has recalled Rondo, according to a press release, meaning the assignment lasted less than two hours, apparently just long enough for him to get in the workout that Ainge referred to.
11:28am: The Celtics have assigned Rajon Rondo to the D-League, the team announced. The move had been rumored in recent weeks, but it nonetheless represents one of the most high-profile assignments in the history of the D-League.
“Rajon is progressing terrifically in his rehab and this is the next step,” GM Danny Ainge said in a statement. “This is a brief assignment so that Rajon can participate in a workout this afternoon with the Red Claws and he will be called back up to the Celtics upon the conclusion of the workout.”
Rondo tore his right ACL last season, but he appears close to returning to the Celtics. Boston agreed to trade Jordan Crawford, who had been playing the point in Rondo’s absence, as part of a three-team swap today.
The move required Rondo’s approval, as well as that of the union, since NBA teams can only unilaterally send down players with less than three years of experience. Rondo, a veteran of seven seasons, initially proposed the idea of the assignment, so it doesn’t sound as if the Celtics faced too much difficulty in making it happen. Still, Rondo probably won’t appear in a game for the Maine Red Claws, and will instead just practice with the club, as Amar’e Stoudemire did with the Knicks’ affiliate last season.