This notebook of Celtics news and notes takes a look at Brad Stevens hoping to set the record straight on Rajon Rondo’s timetable to return. There is also an article about Boston’s newest invites to training camp.
BRAD STEVENS HAS NOT HEARD A TIMELINE FOR RONDO
On the day after Rondo was diagnosed with a torn right ACL, Danny Ainge said, “We anticipate that he’ll back and as good as ever in training camp.” About two months later, the Celtics President of Basketball Operations took a step back, “I’m sure in training camp there will be some maintenance. I know it’s a goal of his and ours, but there’s no guarantee in any of that. Things are going really well, and that’s still a good goal to have.” Just about a week ago, our own Tom Westerholm wrote about Jared Sullinger expressing his opinion on the situation during a television interview in Columbus, Ohio:
Dr. Sullinger’s timetable makes the most sense to me. Bringing Rondo back and testing his surgically repaired knee during Boston’s inexplicably grueling November seems like an unnecessary risk both to his health and the Celtics’ 2014 draft pick. Allowing him to wait until December will give him an easy schedule for the first month after his return, and it will help the Celtics realize exactly what they have as a roster next year.
The goal is to make this team ready to compete for a championship as soon as possible. The main question for Celtics fans, and management for that matter, remains how to treat this transition season. With that being said, Rondo’s ACL will most likely be the subject of discussion through training camp and the beginning of the season. On Friday, the Boston Herald’s Tom Layman caught up with Stevens to talk about it:
The main topic of conversation regarding the Celtics since the seismic shift of the offseason finally slowed has been the health and possible return date of All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo.
New Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has heard all the scenarios in the public conversation, but would not put a date or a timetable on when the lone member of the championship team will be back.
With all the differing reports about the status on the team’s star point guard, the head coach wanted to clarify the situation:
“I have never heard a timeline from him and the latest that I’ve heard from our medical staff is that he’s progressing well,” Stevens said at TPC Boston during the Deutsche Bank pro-am on Thursday. “Our staff has spent a little bit of time with him off site here as well as we followed up on his rehab when he’s been away.
“He will be back in town soon. He’s working. I know that for a fact. He’s working hard to get back as soon as he can and I’m sure he will.”
As of right now, it seems like there will be no rush to bring Rondo back to the lineup. As Tom said, there is no reason to force No. 9 into action when Boston opens the season on October 30 in Toronto. What is your opinion on how the Celtics should bring back Rondo? When does he start playing in games? What should he be doing in training camp?
CELTICS VETERAN TRAINING CAMP INVITES: TAYLOR, BABB AND SIMS
Speaking of training camp, ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg gave us some information on the players that the Celtics have invited:
Last week, guards Kammron Taylor (Wisconsin) and Chris Babb (Iowa State), and forward DeShawn Sims (Michigan), all Tweeted that they’d be camping with Boston. Camp bodies are typically roster longshots, but defray veteran reps, while receiving a chance to showcase their talents for an NBA audience.
One thing to keep in mind with invites is that some could wind up with the Maine Red Claws of the D-League. In recent seasons, Boston has shuffled camp cuts — those that are often willing to shun more lucrative overseas offers to chase the NBA dream stateside — to Maine for a chance to develop in Boston’s affiliated system.
Maine is definitely an option for these players, especially Sims, who has a history with the franchise:
Sims has had two stints with the Red Claws (2010, 2012). He was a camp invite for Boston back in 2010 after going undrafted. He initially signed in Greece, but left soon to join Maine, where he was a D-League All-Star.
It is fun to see some fresh faces because they can help in some fashion over the next month or so:
The Celtics currently have 14 guaranteed contracts, plus the nonguaranteed pact of recently acquired Donte Green. Boston can dip below the luxury tax line by waiving Green and his $1 million salary received from Memphis in last month’s trade for Fab Melo.
With Rajon Rondo rehabbing from a torn ACL and Jared Sullinger coming off back surgery, the Celtics could benefit from extra bodies at camp to absorb reps.
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