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3-on-3: Rajon Rondo

Danny Ainge says that he’s not planning to trade Rajon Rondo, which is Danny-speak for, “I don’t have the deal I’m looking for yet so I’ll try and calm the waters in case Rondo does end up staying in Boston.”

It may also mean, “Dell Demps laughed in my face when I made that offer but now Chris Paul has requested a trade and the Knicks have no assets and New Orleans will regret leaking these talks to drive up the price from the Clippers because CP3 is going to be mine.”

It may also mean that Ainge was never seriously considering dealing him and was just engaging in exploratory talks, the way he’s surely done with everyone on his roster.

Let’s try and make some sense of it.

1. Will Rajon Rondo be traded before this season starts?

Brendan Jackson: Is Danny Ainge really hell bent on getting a TrueHoop Network Certified top ten player? Is this Danny Ainge doing another, “I’m going to motivate Rondo by telling him he’s not as good as everyone else I want”? The truth is no one knows at this point. My gut tells me all this news about trading Rondo is nothing but then again, Danny Ainge isn’t afraid to pull any trigger. Dude can’t sit still.

Ryan DeGama: No, but it won’t be for a lack of effort on Ainge’s part. After five years, I think the Celtics are ready to commit to a new engine for future drink-stirring purposes. It may take some time to find acceptable value for Rondo, but I think he’ll be moved before the end of summer 2012.

Hayes Davenport: No. I think his value around the league, dragged down by his performance in the second half, is a little lower than the minimum the Celtics would demand for him. If they did decide to trade him, I think we’d all be hugely disappointed with what they’d get back. But now that I’ve answered, I’d like to admit that I have never successfully predicted a trade or non-trade and basically have no idea what I’m talking about.

2. Should the Celtics consider dealing Rondo if they can’t get a superstar like Chris Paul?

Brendan: Cost Benefit Analysis. The Celtics should consider trading anyone on their roster if it brings them closer to a championship. An initial trade of Rondo could also signal an additional trade to come so don’t rule it out.

Ryan: Rondo turns 26 in February, which means 1) he’s a Pisces (Imaginative! Oversensitive!) and 2) his next five years will probably be markedly better than the five that we’ve already seen. He’s got a dynamite contract too, so you don’t move him unless you can get a top-15 talent in return.

Hayes: They should definitely consider it, yes, but only to try the other route at a superstar: the draft. I would trade Rondo for some really excellent draft picks. Superstars win championships, and the vast majority of championship (and even championship-contending) teams of the last 20 years drafted a future top-ten player they could build around (even the Celtics, if you want to include Pierce). I would pass on trading Rondo for a few lesser players, though. Not trying to lock up a low East playoff spot for the next five years.

3. What effect will these rumors have on Rondo this season if he remains in Green?

Brendan: Rondo has never used this kind of stuff as a motivator. Or if he has, it hasn’t worked. The Celtics core had the type of camaraderie that coaches dream of until Ainge traded Perkins. I don’t think the team was prepared to feel that level of loss. On the flip side, it served as a great reminder that the NBA is ultimately a business and the Celtics have to be prepared for anything. Players respond to things in different ways. Remember Pierce being a malcontent when the team was struggling and adding pieces like Vin Baker, Ricky Davis, and Mark Blount? Things changed quickly and Pierce has embraced the full Celtic green ever since.

Ryan: If anything, Boston’s renewed interest in upgrading his roster spot might put a little chip on Rondo’s shoulder. But that doesn’t necessarily lead to better play or make him an easier guy to coach. I’m actually much more worried about him consistently attacking the basket than how he feels about trade rumors. But I’m a Gemini. And sometimes we’re harsh like that.

Hayes: I almost said “no effect” because I remembered the Celtics openly shopped Rondo in the summer of 2009, but then I checked and realized I remembered it wrong: if they were dealing him at the time, they were VERY discreet about it. Nobody associated with the team was actually quoted talking about it (like Doc has been already), and Ainge held a press conference basically just to trick the media into gathering in a room so he could yell at them about the Rondo rumors they were spreading. Unless he has a similar agenda for his press conference today, I could see Rondo sulking and then playing a lot like he did at the end of last season.

  • Completely agree with Hayes on what the Celtics should consider trading Rondo for: Another superstar or some good draft picks. I don't want to see him dealt for a few lesser players. He's too special of a player for that.

  • -JP

    I don't really want to see Rondo dealt at all. Who can we really get for him? Half a season of Chris Paul on shaky knees? The massive Robin-to-someone-else's-Batman Dwight Howard for a year? Neither of these are appealing. Unless we can get someone we can't realistically get (DRose, KD) then its not worth trading Rondo, he's a top 5 point guard in this league and we have him for a good contract.

  • the other Alex

    Ugh, I hate those rumours. Sure Rondo has his shortcomings but he that is what makes him such a unique and loveable player. Plus CP3 has Broussard spreading the NY trade rumour already, CarmeloDrama anyone?

    • ElRoz

      not lovable if it causes you losses in key playoff games!

    • sol34

      yeah but we're talking about an NBA team. The C's need a player to build around in the future and whether people like to admit it or not, Rondo isn't the answer. Being liked and lovable doesn't win you championships, and after all isn't that what it's all about at the end of the day?

  • phreesh

    What people aren't focussed on is Rondo's fantastic long-term contract. He's paid like a lower-rank PG, so as long as he plays at that level or higher, he's worth keeping.

    What I don't get is that developing a mid-range jumper is one of the simplest things to learn. Why won't so many NBA players work on it?

    And finally, wasn't it only about a year ago when Rondo was on pace to break the single season record for assists. The kid can play.

    • Ryan DeGama

      It should be noted that phreesh is a Knicks fan and his comments, however truthful, may be born of a desire to see CP3 running at MSG.

      • phreesh

        <hand wave> Chris Paul is not the point guard you're looking for.

        • Chris Paul is not… Wait… Hold on… Blast him!

    • CG12

      There is no doubt Rondo CAN play. The question on any given night is WILL he play. One more Rondo sulk attack and I could end up officially soured on him. The ups and downs and drama and uniquely quirky game are wearing me out.

  • ElRoz

    It is really sad that Rondo cannot – or does not want to – put an end to these rumors by developing a jump-shot and getting his FT to 70% – none are specifically huge tasks for a guard, and yet, 5 years have passed on and defenders still back-off of him and roam, creating problems for others…..DOES HE REALIZE THAT?

    • I_Love_Green

      Thank you. I'm a lot more concerned about his damn free throws than I am his mid range jumper. Reason being- He won't pass up an open lane because he's afraid to shoot free throws anymore. If he can even get an average free throw %, it'll open up our offense more and Rondo would be more aggressive.

  • tbunny

    Do the celtics have any shot at Nene or Tyson Chandler?

    • Morpheus

      Their price will be too high, that's why Danny's looking at cheaper options aka Chuck Hayes.

    • SK35

      No – way out of their price range unless they amnesty KG (which I don't see happening…).

  • Morpheus

    Looks like that CP3 rumour is dead. I believe you CAN build around Rondo. With the RIGHT pieces/players you CAN absolutely build around Rondo. IF he can get his FT% up to around 70-75%, that would make a huge difference to his game and the other players on the court. It really shouldn't be that hard.

    Why not pull a Red and build through the draft? Look at next years draft….LOADED with talent. What if Danny can't get Dwight? Andre Drummond, point blank, in your face, next best thing. Danny would need to trade to get a top 5 pick though. Minny, Kings, Toronto, Detroit are possibilities that could land a top 3-5 pick in that deep draft.

    Then, if Danny can land another top 10-15 pick, he could be looking at Austin, Bradley Beal, Perry Jones, Sullinger, Gilchrist, some nice young talent to run with Rondo. I think if Danny can't get Dwight, next years draft is the next best thing to get a rebuild underway. Load up on picks, draft the best players to complement Rondo in the 2012 class, and Bob's your uncle.

    Rondo, Drummond, Austin/Beal….that's a nice core right there.

    • I_Love_Green

      Don't forget we have the Clips top ten protected pick, and I'm expecting them to be much improved this year, so we could have a top 15 pick right there.

  • Morpheus

    Then again, if Rondo doesn't improve his shooing at all, i'd look at trading him for 2 top 10 picks in next years draft. Then Danny would have about 7 picks in total. WOW.

  • JCP

    I've been reading over the past week through Google Reader so haven't been on the site to comment, but I just wanted to say II'm thrilled to have Celtics Hub back with regular posts! Thanks, guys!

  • Aint Easy Bein Green

    Something big is in the works… Does anyone else find it funny how just before last year, Doc was about to walk and take some time w/ his kids… Then, all the sudden he signs a 5 yr deal, knowing all the while that the big 3 era was coming to an end….. Doc n Danny got a big plan for the next few years….

  • Blade

    guys, before you continue to knock his jumper and free throws — as you rightfully should — just remember, the main reason he is subpar in these areas isn't because of a lack of desire, it's because of his physical attributes. As explained by SportsScience, Rondo has Shaq hands; his hands are actually larger than those of Yoa Ming, who is 7'6", and close to or equal to those of Shaq. why not demand Shaq to make 75% of his free throws, or develop a solid midrange jumper? it's not a lack of desire; he works on shooting with MJ's old shooting coach. It's the physical truth that his large hands prevent him from developing a comfortable and continuous jumper. now i'm not saying that he can't do it, or that he shouldn't, because he should be able to. just reminding you all that it is not as easy as you imagine. Do your research before you criticize.

    • Morpheus

      His hands are actually smaller than MJ's hands and Shaq's.

      For the record – MJ's hand size: 12.25 inches. Rondo's – 9.5 inches.

      Rondo's shooting woes are primarily based on poor form and lack of repetition/work put in to improving it. Hand size has nothing to do with his poor shooting. See what i'm thinking is, why doesn't Rondo learn from thee greatest shooter of all time Ray Allen? Mark Price couldn't even help Rondo imrpve his shooting? Another all time shooter.

      It has to be stubborness. I think Rondo is too stubborn to learn, i truly believe that Rondo thinks he doesn't need to improve his shooting to be a better/great pg. It's one thing to put in work, it's another to have the right attitude. And that's where i think Rajon fails, he doesn't have the right attitude to have the desire to want to improve his shooting. You got to have the right attitude when you put in work, it can make a world of difference to your development.

      • Kricky

        I thought Shaq's problem wasn't the size of his hands, but that he had a wrist injury when he was a kid that never healed properly that gave him a very awkward shooting motion. Still I think he should have learned to shoot with the other hand.

        I can see not making jumpers as these come in the flow of the game. But I think there is NO excuse for NBA players not hitting their throws. This is especially guys like RR and Shaq, who would have been absolutely unstoppable had he shot 75% of his FTs. It would have elevated Shaq to the rankings of best Center of all time.

        These guys have been given physical gifts and it is a shame that they do not put in the effort to truly develop their potential. When you think about it it's kind of an insult to all of us who have to struggle through life and pony up all the $$$ to see these guys play.

      • I don't think Rondo's stubborn about the free throws. Supposedly, he makes them about on par with Ray during practices. This is clearly something mental going on keeping him from hitting them during a game. He kinda looks a little lost when at the line.

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  • player looks less lost than Green. But a little lost is too lost on a Doc Rivers club.

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