Tuesday 19th June 2018,
The Hoop Doctors

Danny Ainge Denies Rajon Rondo Trade Rumors

Rajon Rondo is staying right where he is. For now.

The Boston Celtics All-Star point guard has been linked to a variety of trade rumors over the last year or so. Most recently, the New York Knicks tried to get in on the action, reportedly dangling a package comprising Amar’e Stoudemire, Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert.

Can you say underwhelming? The Celtics sure can. They’ve rebuffed such overtures. In fact, per the Boston Herald‘s Steve Bulpett, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge maintains that he hasn’t talked to teams about trading Rondo:

The recent spate of rumors regarding the possible trade of Rajon Rondo are not based in any Celtic reality.

“I haven’t talked to any teams about Rajon Rondo,” Celts’ president of basketball operation Danny Ainge told the Herald this morning.

He has, however, fielded a number of calls wanting to now if the rumors are true.

“It’s frustrating,” Ainge said.

He went on to reiterate that Rondo, still rehabbing from ACL surgery, is a major part of the Celtics’ plans going forward.

Ainge is doing the right thing. If offers like the one New York is selling are the only ones he’s encountered, there’s no reason to allow them to hold water. As for the whole “we’re going to rebuild around Rondo; we swear” thing, I have my doubts.

The Celtics are rebuilding; I get that. You know what, let’s just call it what is: The Celtics are tanking. Trying to tank at least. More four-game winning streaks might force them to do something drastic. But mostly, the Celtics are tanking.

Once Rondo returns, he’s going to make the already mercurial Celtics better. A lot better. All-Star floor generals tend to do that. And the Celtics shouldn’t want him to do that. Not this season, when the 2014 draft class is loaded like Gronk on a Sunday night following a Patriots win. They shouldn’t want it next season either, when they’ll still be in the thick of a rebuild and better off playing for a high draft pick.

This doesn’t leave the Celtics with many options. They can hold Rondo out as long as possible this year, but the whole season? Not going to happen. That is, unless Derrick Rose can get through to him.

“Sitting out is fun,” he’ll tell Rondo. “The media and fans start to hate you, but you can totally order pizza to the bench.”

Or something like that.

All I’m saying is, Rondo is going to return this season. After he does, the Celtics could trade him. It’s not that far out of the realm of possibilities. Using him as bait, they’re likely to net draft picks and prospects from teams who aren’t the Knicks.

That’s the other thing about these current trade rumors—not only do they make little sense for the Celtics, they make little sense to entertain at all. Rondo’s value has never been lower. Accept that. He’s injured and no target date for his return has been set. Few teams will be amenable to relinquishing prized assets in favor of an injured floor general.

The time to shop him or entertain offers would be well after he returns, when he’s had ample opportunity to prove himself. When plenty more teams are desperate.

When not even the Knicks are bold enough to offer STAT with a straight face.

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.

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