Celtics Rumor Mill: Ainge Says Rondo ‘Not Being Traded’
BOSTON (CBS) – Thursday’s NBA trade deadline is fast approaching, with the Celtics involved in plenty of rumors.
Here is a quick roundup of all the Celtics trade rumors out there:
Tuesday, March 13
– There’s some more talk about Rajon Rondo, with president Danny Ainge saying the Celtics point guard isn’t going anywhere.
“Rondo’s not being traded,” Ainge told CSNNE.com prior to the Celtics 94-85 win over the Los Angeles Clippers Monday night. “I don’t know how many times I have to say it. Rondo’s not being traded.”
Rondo has been in trade rumors it seems all season, from preseason Chris Paul talk to a recent rumor that had the Lakers and Celtics talking trade. But Ainge is now adamant that Rondo is the point guard of the future, and applauded Rondo for dealing with all the chatter.
“Rondo, from the beginning of this year, has shown a lot of maturity in dealing with all this, back to the Chris Paul rumors and stuff,” said Ainge. “Rondo and I have had open dialogue and conversation. He knows where he stands with our organization and how important he is.”
Rich Predicts What C’s Will Do At Trade Deadline
Monday, March 12
– The Rajon Rondo to the Lakers talk continued last week, but seems to have hit an impasse, according to the Los Angeles Times. The paper reported that the two rivals re-visited talks that would have sent the point guard to Los Angeles, but the talks died when the Lakers would not include Pau Gasol in a deal.
“Unless they give up Gasol, they’re not going to get a top-level point guard,” a person familiar with the situation told the Times.
For Rondo and Gasol, Thursday cannot come soon enough.
Friday, March 9
– After a quiet few days, we found this nugget out there. Danny Ainge offered up Ray Allen to Larry Bird and the Indiana Pacers, but the price was too high for Larry Legend.
“When Danny and I talked about trading for Ray, he wanted Tyler Hansbrough and a first-round pick,” Bird told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. “If that’s the value he’s putting on Ray Allen, he ain’t getting it. That tells me he’s in no hurry to trade him.”
Ainge will only deal Allen (or Garnett, or Pierce, or Rondo) if he gets what he wants. A first-round pick and a player may be a little much for Allen six days before the deadline, but who knows if a team will get desperate come 3:55pm on Thursday.
Tuesday, March 6
– The Celtics appear ready to cut ties with center Jermaine O’Neal if he elects to undergo surgery on his injured left wrist. The Globe’s Gary Washburn reported the team could cut O’Neal if he opts for surgery, in hopes of adding another center or big for the remainder of the season.
A few options for the Celtics include a pair of former Celtics in James Posey and Leon Powe, who are both currently unsigned.
O’Neal has to decide between a cortisone shot, minor surgery, or season-ending surgery for his wrist.
Monday, March 5
-While this isn’t really a Celtics trade rumor, there is reportedly a lot of interest in Portland Trial Blazers guard Jamal Crawford. The Clippers are among the teams most interested for the veteran guard, who were also rumored to be in the market for Ray Allen.
Crawford’s market could work both ways for a potential Ray Allen deal. If Crawford’s price becomes too high, Allen may be more enticing to teams. If the Crawford becomes a cheaper option, the Celtics might have to come down on their young player, draft pick asking price.
Friday, March 2
– The Celtics are reportedly offering Kevin Garnett to Atlanta for forward Josh Smith.
It would be great to see Smith play with Rondo, his former Oak Hill Academy teammate, but it’s hard to imagine the Hawks going through with a deal like this even with Garnett playing so well. Atlanta currently sits in the six spot in the Eastern Conference, a game-and-a-half ahead of the Celtics and Knicks.
The 26-year-old Smith is a signed through next season at $13.2 million.
– There is a lot of chatter about the Celtics acquiring former number-2 overall pick Michael Beasley from Minnesota.
Beasley is a good talent averaging 12.5 points and 5.2 rebounds this season, but a big headcase. He has a $6.2 million salary this season and an $8 million option for next. It’s unlikely anyone would give him $8 million.
Not to mention, do the Wolves really want an injured Jermaine O’Neal in return?
– CSNNE’s A. Sherrod Blakely is reporting veterans Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are the two Celtics drawing the most interest around the NBA.
Sources tell Blakely teams are calling about the two Celtics vets, including both Los Angeles teams.
The Clippers are looking for some veteran shooting after losing Chauncey Billups earlier in their season. Who better to fill that spot than Ray Allen, the NBA’s All-Time leading three-point king. Allen is a free agent after the season, and would be a perfect rental player for a playoff-bound team.
The Clippers are also reportedly interesting in adding Pierce, along with the Lakers and Houston Rockets. The Celtics captain has two years remaining on his deal and could be an enticing pickup for playoff contenders looking for another scorer, either to start or come off the bench.
Dealing Allen could yield the Celtics a draft pick or player for the future, where dealing Pierce should get a little bit more in return.
But does anyone want to see Pierce wearing a Lakers uniform? Didn’t think so…