BOSTON (CBS) – Celtics VP of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge has reiterated over and over again his team’s intentions of keeping All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo and building around him to be a future contender, but apparently teams are in need of his services and would like to make a deal.

Toronto, for instance, is one of those teams.

The C’s are reportedly looking for two first round picks and a proven player in return for Rondo. Brian Robb of doesn’t think Rondo is going anywhere and he gives him a 70-80% chance of remaining with the team past Thursday’s deadline.

But that doesn’t mean the right deal could come along between now and then.

“The odds are in his favor right now that he is going to stay, but there’s still a definite, distinct possibility that he’ll be sent packing this week,” Robb told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show.

Ainge and the Celtics are at a critical juncture at the moment because if moving Rondo is in their plans then the time is now.

“I think Ainge realizes that right now this is probably the best time to deal Rondo. In a sense this is how he can maximize his value if he’s going to deal him. He could wait to the summer to explore it again but you’re going to get more for dealing Rondo now than this summer, so it makes sense to see what you could get for him from teams right now.”

Dave Goucher, filling in for Fred, points out that the Celtics have 10 first round picks over the next five years, and 17 total draft picks in that period – so couldn’t the C’s just keep Rondo and build around him through the draft?

After all, Ainge has shown to be a very capable talent evaluator and drafter.

Robb thinks that to be a “feasible option,” but the Celtics are worried about what Rajon Rondo will cost them when he hits free agency in the 2015 summer.

“Rondo is going to explore free agency so they don’t want to lose him for nothing, but at the same time I don’t think they want to pay him a max-level deal,” said Robb. “They do want to hold onto him. They have all these picks to build around him and can bring in players to put around him, but I don’t think they want to spend a huge portion of their cap room next summer to pay him a max contract. I think he deserves close to it, but I don’t think he deserves a max contract.”

Other players that could get dealt are Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries and Jeff Green. Robb predicts that two of those three players will be traded by the deadline.

Listen below for the full discussion:



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