Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald hears the Celtics are seemingly more open to trading Rajon Rondo than ever, though Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has batted down similar rumors for several months. Ainge once more went on the offensive against the chatter surrounding the star point guard, as Bulpett observes.
“That’s all speculation,” Ainge said. “Those aren’t facts. People don’t know that, so it’s just people speculating on Rondo’s free agency next summer. That’s all that you’re hearing. You’re not hearing any facts from anybody. Those conversations haven’t even been discussed, so that’s just speculation.”
Bulpett has more from Ainge and other Celtics news in his must-read piece, and we’ll sum up the highlights here:
- Ainge believes he must make significant trades to surround Rondo with talent to convince him to stay when his contract expires after next season. Still, Ainge nonetheless thinks that as long as Rondo sees the Celtics gathering momentum toward a revival, that will be enough, Bulpett writes. “We love Rondo, and Rondo loves us,” Ainge told Bulpett. “We don’t feel like there’s pressure that we have to do something or there’s some sort of deadline that something has to get done by. You know, sure Rondo has to see progress and Rondo has to believe that we’re going to be contenders and be in the picture and have something. But that’s an ongoing thing. I mean, we feel that way with everybody.”
- Several teams are waiting to see where the Celtics end up in the lottery before talking trade with Ainge and his staff, according to Bulpett. Boston is projected to wind up with the fifth overall pick.
- The Wizards have held an interest in Jeff Green in recent years, Grantland’s Zach Lowe noted this week, but Bulpett hears that Green holds no current appeal to Washington, given the two years and $18.4MM remaining on his deal.