3:01pm: A multitude of executives from teams around the league tell Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher that the Celtics have made Rondo available to them. Teams have been reluctant to give up either promising young players, high draft picks, or both in return for Rondo out of concern about his temperament, his health, and his lack of experience leading a team without stars around him, Bucher writes. An Eastern Conference GM also cites Ainge’s demands as reason why no trade has materialized. People around the league believe that Ainge would have been more willing to commit to Rondo if he’d drafted Joel Embiid, Bucher adds.
FRIDAY, 12:31pm: Celtics team president Rich Gotham dismissed the idea that Rondo is bucking for a trade, as Gotham said in comments to reporters, including Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (Twitter links). “If he’s made that demand it hasn’t been directed to the Celtics,” Gotham said. “I’ve not heard [about wanting out]. Rajon’s been working out all summer. He’s been here. This is his home.”
TUESDAY, 12:14pm: Sean Deveney of The Sporting News largely seconds Blakely’s report, having heard denials from both Rondo’s camp and the Celtics that the point guard has made a trade request. Rondo intends to play out the final season of his contract as a member of the Celtics and the C’s plan on starting the year with him on the roster, Deveney writes.
MONDAY, 4:04pm: People close to Rajon Rondo indicate to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com that he never told the Celtics he wanted out, countering this weekend’s dispatch. Multiple sources from around the league tell Blakely that Rondo wants to begin the season in Boston and see how the situation develops from there, and people within the Celtics organization echo that sentiment, according to Blakely. The most likely scenario involves Rondo remaining with the Celtics at least at the beginning of the season, though the C’s are open to dealing Rondo for the right return, Blakely hears.
A rival GM suggested to the CSNNE.com scribe that the presence of Marcus Smart gives the Celtics greater leverage against Rondo if the All-Star were to demand a trade, given Smart’s upside. Blakely reiterates an earlier report that indicated that teams around the league are anxious to see Rondo at full health, dampening the market for a trade at present.
It’s a pivotal juncture for the point guard, who’s played just 30 games since tearing his ACL in early 2013 but faces unrestricted free agency in a year. Trade rumors have swirled around him ever since last year’s Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett blockbuster, but president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has continually denied that he’s looking to trade the last remaining mainstay from his 2008 championship team.