Celtics GM Danny Ainge denied earlier this season that any team had so much as inquired about Rajon Rondo‘s availability via trade, and while that seemed a little far-fetched, he isn’t changing his story much.
“I actually did have a team call me and say, ‘Hey, would you have any interest in trading Rondo?’ Before he even offered me a package,” Ainge said to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe. “And I said no. And that’s it. That’s as long as the conversation happened.”
There’s plenty more from Ainge amid our look at the latest on the Celtics:
- The Celtics boss also tells Holmes that the trade rumors about Rondo have emanated from outside the organization. “It’s just people, like I think recently, somebody, one of the national media guys, made a comment like, ‘Oh, I was talking with some NBA people on the road and they all think Danny is going to trade Rondo,'” Ainge said. “Well, it’s not like there’s a source. It’s just people that have their own opinion, sitting around, having a Diet Coke, talking about what I’m going to do with Rondo. Which is fine.”
- Ainge says he’s hesitant to build around a single player, whether it’s Rondo or anyone else. “Nobody is ‘the future of the franchise,'” Ainge said to Holmes. “A franchise is bigger than any one individual. But we love him. That’s what [the extension offer] explains.”
- Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com examines what Rondo could make on an extension if he signed one now, and compares it to the more lucrative alternatives of signing an extension this summer or waiting to ink a deal as a free agent in 2015.
- Jerryd Bayless shares his impressions of the Celtics since coming to Boston via trade earlier this month and reiterates his desire to remain with the team long-term in a blog post on his personal website (hat tip to Forsberg).
- Ainge let Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald know that part of the motivation to trade Jordan Crawford was to open up more playing time for Phil Pressey. Still, Ainge says he remains high on Crawford and MarShon Brooks, who also departed in that deal, and Ainge added that he’ll keep an eye on both when they hit free agency this summer.
- The Celtics have six extra draft picks between this year and 2018, and that’s a reflection of a long-held philosophy that Ainge explains to Bulpett. “I’ve always believed that you build through the draft,” he said. “And whether those drafted players are Al Jefferson, who you love, and Delonte West, who we developed and loved, and then move them for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen — or whether those draft picks turn into Rajon Rondo or Paul Pierce and they’re with you forever.”