A quick pre-draft update on Rondo and Ray. First: Rondo’s agent, Bill Duffy, spoke to the Globe and wasn’t happy with Danny Ainge’s comments yesterday. Before I paste those comments, I want to point out that, according to Duffy, Ainge assured him on Monday that the team has no plans to trade Rondo, and that Duffy has not requested a deal.
Onto the comments:
“I am just surprised that Danny is speaking, even if he considers it constructively, in a public setting [about Rondo]. I don’t think that it’s appropriate to say that about one of your top players. Even if it’s spoken constructively, I don’t think it should be done in public. I don’t think [Ainge] would like it if [Celtics managing partner] Wyc [Grousbeck] was talking about him in public.
“What they’re saying about him critically is actually an asset to him. He is feisty. He is competitive, yes. Last time I checked they won a world championship with him at point guard. If the team wasn’t hurting they might have done it again this year. Rondo’s tough love from Danny isn’t necessary. He’s self-motivated and a self-starter.’’
He also argues that Ainge has been sending mixed message, which is a valid point:
When asked if Ainge’s comments affected Rondo’s contract situation, Duffy said: “It doesn’t sound like a glowing endorsement. You say you love him and then you are critical? You’re certainly not recruiting him.’’
As I’ve said many times before in the last two days, I don’t believe Rondo is being traded this summer. And I find very interesting the theory over at Red’s Army that all of these public comments–and they are fairly unusual, if not earth-shattering–are Ainge’s way of lowering the starting point of Rondo’s extension talks.
As for Walter Ray, he thinks he’s staying put after talking with the C’s, according to the Hartford Courant:
“I spoke with my side of the equation and for right now there is no desire to move me,” Allen said. “We’re in a great position to win a championship again this next year.”
He also weighs in on Rondo: “He can extend his contract and be a restricted free agent next year,” Allen said. “I’ve been around long enough to understand this is the business. As well as he’s played, he’s attractive to another team contractually.”
Deep breaths, everyone. I’ve said all along that I think the full starting line-up will be back, and I still believe that. Things will be a little bit clearer after the draft tonight.
Check back here for the massive ESPN/TrueHoop live blog starting around 5 p.m. (the post will be up this afternoon).
Oh, and Shaq is on his way to Cleveland in exchange for the corpses of Sasha Pavlovic, Ben Wallace and the 46th pick. I’d say Phoenix was fairly interested in getting rid of Shaq.
The interesting question to me: Does make it more or less likely that the Suns just give up and deal Steve Nash and his expiring deal?