12:26pm: Grantland’s Zach Lowe has also heard that the Celtics are demanding a pair of unprotected first-rounders for Rondo (Twitter link).
11:21am: The Celtics asking price for Rajon Rondo is “said to be” two unprotected first-round picks, as Sam Smith of Bulls.com writes in his weekly leaguewide roundup. That would be quite a hefty ransom for the four-time All-Star whom Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has consistently maintained is off-limits for a trade.
Few NBA teams surrender so much as one unprotected first-round pick via trade these days, never mind two, so it seems unlikely any team would match that price. The Knicks have consistently made Rondo a target, and they reportedly believe that Ainge is more amenable to a Rondo trade than he’s let on. The Knicks can’t give up a first-rounder for a draft earlier than 2018. Ainge served up his latest dismissal of Rondo trade talk this weekend, calling it “all a little crazy.”
The Suns, Rockets and Mavericks were also linked to Rondo last month, though there’s been little chatter connecting the point guard to those teams since. Rondo is set to become an unrestricted free agent after next season, but he’s expressed a desire for a long-term future in Boston.