Our weekly 5-on-5 will be up later this afternoon, but in the meantime, Chad Ford, who has had a curiously accurate read on Danny Ainge’s plans in the past, has a piece up listing the most likely impact players to be moved by next week’s trade deadline. Rajon Rondo is the headliner:
1. Rajon Rondo, G, Celtics
I know the Celtics are saying Rondo isn’t going anywhere. But there are two problems with that. (1) It doesn’t jibe with what a number of NBA GMs are saying based on conversations they’ve had with Celtics president Danny Ainge. (2) Ainge isn’t stupid. He doesn’t want to trade Rondo, but Rondo is the best chip he has to play right now.
If Ainge waits and does nothing, the Celtics will be a middling lottery team without much hope next season — in the same spot where Ainge inherited them a few years ago. He doesn’t want to go back there. If he can get two pieces back for Rondo, I think he’ll do it. Atlanta, Portland and Indiana are interesting destinations if they are willing to pay.
One thing you’ll notice today is that a number of teams are indicating they intend to make no moves, that they’re happy with what they have and so on and so forth. This is S.O.P. a week from the deadline even if it proves true. Boston (and Atlanta, Portland and Indiana for that matter) may end up standing pat but you can safely ignore the rhetoric and know there are phone calls aplenty behind the scenes and any number of scenarios that could materialize.