If you don’t think the Celtics are open to trading Rondo, I don’t know what to tell you anymore. Ainge was on WEEI’s “Dennis and Callahan” this morning, and he was honest–and fair–in his assessment of Rondo. (Hat tip: Red’s).
Among the tidbits, via the Globe:
“There were just a couple situations where he was late this year, I don’t know if he was sitting in his car, but showed up late and the rest of the team was there. We have team rules and you have to be on time. He was fined for being late, he said he was stuck in traffic, and it’s just unacceptable.”
“As we saw in the Orlando series, they left him wide open,” Ainge said. “His presence hurt us in winning right now because his man went and doubled onto Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce] and made it difficult for us.”
“He’s got to grow up in some cases, and I think he is, too,” Ainge said. “Slowly but surely Rondo is maturing. He’s getting a little bit more control over his emotions and he’s responding in a more positive way as he gets older and more mature in the league. We certainly would not trade him because of those things. We really need him as our point guard to be a leader than someone who thinks more of himself at times.”
“I think it’s a good goal for Rondo to have just from a monetary standpoint, but to be that kind of player that warrants a max contract — I certainly don’t see Rondo as a max-contract player today,” Ainge said. “Next summer is a summer where we’ll probably have to make some financial decisions on Rondo if we don’t come to a conclusion this summer.”
Face it, folks: There are Rondo trade talks happening. We don’t know how serious they are, and it’s clear Ainge would prefer not to trade him. But those talks have happened. And it’s not because of Rondo’s attitude problem. That’s clearly not enough of a reason to trade him or discuss trading him. The main reasons, as they should be, are basketball- and money-related. He hasn’t developed a jump shot, and if he doesn’t, he’s not worth the max contract Rondo may believe he’d be entitled to after another All-Star-level season in 2009-10. Those are reasons to talk trade. The attitude, the tardiness–those are issues, and they may put a bit of an extra push behind trade talks.
But it’s basketball and money, folks. That’s why these rumors are out there, and that’s why Ainge is clearly open to dealing Rondo.
I still contend it’s not happening, but only because the Celtics will not get equal value in return–especially at the point guard position.
More on this tonight.