Rumors of Rajon Rondo‘s departure have been greatly exaggerated, apparently. A clip emanating from ESPN’s “Around The Horn” had the internet wondering if Rondo had asked for a trade out of Boston. However, Rondo’s agency quickly denied such speculation. Furthermore, ESPN took the video down and a network spokesperson told our own Chuck Myron today that it was pulled because the clip was being characterized as reporting rather than “an informed conversation among our panelists.” In short, Celtics fans, don’t go putting your No. 9 jerseys on eBay just yet.
Rondo, who has said that he isn’t a big fan of change and wouldn’t mind spending the rest of his career in green and white, is apparently more patient than some have given him credit for. After watching his star teammates get shipped off and missing roughly one calendar year due to an ACL tear, many believed that Rondo would aim for a fresh start with another team. If we are to take Rondo and his reps for their word, he’s still eager to help Boston get back to glory.
Still, even if Rondo is on board with rebuilding, that doesn’t mean the C’s won’t explore trading him anyway. At 28, Rondo stands as one of the league’s very best point guards and as he enters his walk year he could bring Boston a windfall of even more young assets and draft picks to build with. The Kings could be a trade partner and although Rondo might be reluctant to sign a new deal with them, they were reportedly willing to deal for Kevin Love without any such guarantee, so it’s possible Sacramento would roll the dice anyway.
The Celtics have a promising rookie one-guard in Marcus Smart and they can afford to wait on his development as they’re ostensibly future-minded. Still, Rondo isn’t exactly a graybeard like ex-teammates Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. He could fit into Boston’s timetable and Danny Ainge seems to believe he and Smart could co-exist just fine.
“Absolutely. No question,” Ainge said in June when asked whether Smart and Rondo could share the floor. “And [Smart] and [Avery] Bradley. No question. [Smart]’s a very versatile player. He can play off the ball. He can handle the ball. With his length and his size, he can probably play against a lot of small forwards — 6’3″, long wingspan, 230 pounds. He’s a very versatile player. Easily those guys can play together, and I think they would really thrive playing together, all of them.”
For now, it seems as though Rondo wants to remain in Boston and Ainge has told anyone that will listen that he wants to keep him there. If you were at the helm of the Celtics, would you trade Rondo between now and the February deadline or hang on to him?