Eastern Notes: Rondo, Granger, Rose, Deng

There’s been plenty of trade speculation regarding Rajon Rondo of the Celtics, despite GM Danny Ainge saying he’s not being shopped. The team has even begun discussing a contract extension with their newly named Captain. Rondo seems to be willing to be a part of the Celtics rebuilding efforts, and is open to signing an extension, writes Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston.com. Rondo told Forsberg, “I don’t like change much. I wouldn’t mind staying here the rest of my career. Things don’t always seem to go that way, but like I said before, it’s just a business. I wouldn’t mind extending another 10 years in Boston.” Forsberg also writes that Ainge acknowledged that it would take “star” money to retain their point guard. In a separate article, Forsberg examines the merits for both player and team to work out an extension this offseason.

Here’s some other notes from around the Eastern Conference:

  •  With Danny Granger relegated to a bench role in the wake of his injuries, as well as the rise to stardom of Paul George, Sam Amick of USA Today examines how Granger’s acceptance of his new role can help the Pacers thrive.
  • Despite being out for the season with another knee injury, Derrick Rose was named to USA Basketball’s 28-player pool for this summer’s FIBA World Cup of Basketball in Spain and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau would be happy to see Rose play for Team USA this summer, writes Sean Highkin of USA Today. Rose is expected to be medically cleared by the summer, and Thibodeau said “If he’s healthy enough, I think it would be great for him. I know how strongly USA Basketball feels about him. If his health is there, I think it makes a lot of sense.”
  • Luol Deng was traded from the Bulls to the Cavaliers on January 7th. Since that time, the Bulls have gone 7-2, and might be playing the best basketball of their season. The Bulls seem to be thriving without their former player, but Deng isn’t doing quite as well in Cleveland, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. He’s having to play “baby-sitter” on a young, but talented roster. How the team jells the rest of the season will have a direct impact on the Cavaliers chances at re-signing Deng this summer.
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