Behind all the words and confusing comments, the Boston Celtics want to trade Rajon Rondo. Only they’re afraid to admit it because it means conceding that they’re tanking again, and it’ll mean making one of the more touchy and hard-to-handle players in the NBA angry about staying.
Danny Ainge doesn’t know. At least that’s what he says. The Celtics owner says Rondo is hard to coach. In other words? A diva of sorts. Not something we haven’t heard before. He also says that he’d like for Rondo to stay in Boston. The problem with Rondo? He isn’t that useful when he doesn’t have All-Stars playing around him.
What’s the plan for the Boston Celtics? It seems like there hasn’t been one since they got stabbed in the heart by Doc Rivers before falling further apart as Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were traded away to the Brooklyn Nets. The Celtics didn’t get cap space or any talented young players. They have Rajon Rondo, who is only a good building block if you have very good scorers around him. He isn’t the guy to build a team around when he’s actually the number one player.
Teams are looking into the Rondo situation, but aren’t quite sure to pull the trigger on it. He came back in the middle of last season after missing almost an entire year with a torn knee ligament. He averaged 11.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 9.8 assists; regular Rondo numbers. He also shot 40.3% from the field, maybe trying to show he can hit shots from outside the paint. He can’t, and no one seems to understand why.
It was hard getting a gauge on him while he was playing on such an awful team. The Celtics don’t look a whole lot better this season. Maybe a bit, with the potentially dangerous Marcus Smart and also the addition of Evan Turner and James Young among other players. This still feels like a patching up job without too much of forward thinking. The Celtics are simply waiting for an opportunity to sign some big name, but the 2015 free agency market is suddenly looking a lot leaner.
Yes, the Celtics will have a lot more cap space after next season to make some more significant moves. But is there a solid foundation in place to add players that might not necessarily be superstars and improve through it? Not if Rajon Rondo gets a max deal, which he’ll obviously demand. Trading whatever will be left of his $12 million expiring deal, as he is their only viable tradeable asset, seems like the smart move unless the Celtics are planning on a long period of mediocrity.