Other teams around the NBA appear to have joined the Knicks in their belief that Danny Ainge is more willing to move Rajon Rondo than he’s letting on. The Kings have reportedly made an offer for Rondo, while the Raptors have their eyes on him, too. The C’s appear to be demanding a pair of unprotected first-round picks for their All-Star point guard. Sources tell Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald that those picks would have to be virtually guaranteed to come within the top few selections, even though Boston wouldn’t insist that both picks come in the same year. Here’s more on the C’s:
- Bulpett hears that teams around the league have called the Celtics about Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Jeff Green and Kris Humphries, as the Herald scribe writes in the same piece. While none of those talks are ongoing, the Celtics would like to make some kind of deal this week, according to Bulpett.
- The C’s are open to acquiring a major player, Bulpett notes, and they’ll go into the tax if necessary, as Ainge explains to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe. “We would go over the cap for the right deal,” Ainge said. “We’re not going to go over the cap just for the cap’s sake, just because we’re not a playoff team this year, most likely, unless we turn things around quickly. I think that it would not be prudent to be a tax-paying team this year. But if we needed to be a tax-paying team to make a certain acquisition, we certainly would. We have the support of ownership and I think we have the best ownership in basketball. And they would certainly be willing to spend the money. It’s not that; it’s just the competitive advantage to stay under the tax for future years and to allocate our money the best that we can.”
- Ainge tells Holmes that there are “a lot of different directions we could go,” and that the team could either make an upgrade or do a deal that furthers the rebuilding process. Ainge is also keeping an open mind regarding the team’s store of draft picks, of which there could be as many as 17 in the next five years. “You know what, I look at them as 17 opportunities to draft some really good players,” Ainge said. “Or maybe 12 opportunities to draft and five to trade, or five to draft and 12 to trade. It depends on the players.”