Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that lingering uncertainty about Rajon Rondo‘s future in Boston, along with the team’s inability to immediately surround him with impact players, contributed to his decision to trade him to the Mavs, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com reports. “There was definitely uncertainty into what might happen [with Rondo as a free agent] this summer,” Ainge said. “That was a big factor. We liked the players that we got in the trade. But, listen, with his impending free agency, and the uncertainty of what might happen this summer, I think that gave us the impetus of wanting to do a deal.”
Here’s more out of the East:
- Ainge also discussed how difficult it was to trade away a player like Rondo, Forsberg adds. “It was hard. Yeah, it was very difficult to move Rajon,” Ainge said. “I know it’s a business in professional sports, but you really develop a lot of close relationships and I loved watching Rajon, I loved visiting with him, our one-on-one conversations were fun, entertaining, frustrating sometimes. And always a surprise. The guy was a very unique person. But watching him grow and watching him develop as a man and as a person and as a basketball player, I just enjoyed my interactions with him. It was an emotional time as we met last night. It was not an easy thing to do. But I believe it was the right thing to do.“
- The Hawks have recalled Mike Muscala from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter link). This was Muscala’s second jaunt of the season to Fort Wayne, and in three D-League games, he has averaged 15 points and 9.7 rebounds.
- Cavs GM David Griffin considered trading for Corey Brewer, but decided that he wanted to hang on to Cleveland’s $5.3MM trade exception, Terry Pluto of The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports. Griffin has decided to wait instead, with his primary goal being to add a big man who can protect the rim and rebound, Pluto notes.
- The Celtics and Jameer Nelson have had preliminary discussions on his future role with the team and “what if” possibilities before the February trade deadline, but buyout negotiations have not taken place yet, Shams Charania of RealGM reports.