Post-game Reactions

With a full month of preseason fully in gear now, we are faced with a never-ending wave of NBA previews. Our friends over at Grantland have put together a fun collection of preview videos featuring Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons giving their takes on all 30 teams from around the league, ranking them from 30-to-1.

As suspected, the Celtics made an appearance in the rankings on the early side, as the duo has pegged them as the 24th best team in the NBA out of the gate. The bigger surprise however is that Jalen Rose is adamant that Rajon Rondo will be traded, if he returns and starts looking like his old self yet again.

In another Grantland preview, good friend and CelticsHub alumnus Zach Lowe has some thoughts on the C’s, including the most likely Celtics candidates to be dealt.

Boston has the veteran talent and potential defensive chops to stay in a lot of games, but the idea that these guys are going to challenge for the no. 8 spot is way overblown. The C’s have been a bottom-10 scoring team for two straight seasons with Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett (and Ray Allen in 2011-12). Every single basket is going to be an unwatchable grind, and the season will probably end with Boston around 25th or worse in points per possession.

They’ll be solid defensively on the perimeter, and Brad Stevens will have them executing precisely on both ends, but they’re severely lacking rim protection. It’s going to be ugly, and if the Celtics do somehow find themselves in the race for no. 8 at midseason, they’ll happily trade themselves out of it if they can find any useful assets for Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries, and others. A Rondo trade is the sexier angle — and not implausible — but a trade involving one of those names is much more likely; dealing Lee or Bass would allow Boston to get serious cap room in July.

After last night’s performances, it’s clear the C’s are going to have to see more out of Bass and/or Lee for other guys to agree to take those contracts on. They may not be big deals, but those are expensive role players for any playoff contender looking for an upgrade. Surrounded by the right players though, they could provide a useful boost to some team in playoff contention.

One thing is clear though after one preseason game. The logjam in the backcourt and the four spot has to be cleared, hopefully sooner rather than later.


The following two tabs change content below.

Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
Share →
  • hax

    Wiggins & Parker!

  • skeeds

    Do I need to go find my post about espn "analysts" and paste it here? These people show a laughably superficial understanding of what is going on in the nba. (the fact that since 2007 their only accurate prediction of the NBA champion was last year, while they haven't guessed both finalists correctly since 2008 speaks for itself).
    AAaaaanyway. The bottom line is this. Even if Rondo was a bad fit with Stevens, even if Ainge hated him, even if he didn't want to be part of a rebuilding team, truth is, that in this league, you either have Lebron, or you need a very, VERY skilled PG to float. When ever in league history would a player like Tony Parker be borderline top 5? There are at least 8 guys out there who had a serious claim for an allstar selection last season. This is not the time to have an elite PG and let him go.
    Ainge has positioned himself in a way that he can precisely avoid sacrificing his all star pg to get assets. He has young players, more pics than he should be allowed, expiring contracts, proven vets and he's under the cap.
    He might be a nasty dude, but he's smart. Rondo is always on the table, as he was, for Chris Paul. Or Westbrook, or Curry. But with every team clinging to their young guards and top all stars all in pretty stable situations, I don't think there's a trade he would consider favorable.

    • jpbl1976

      I absolutely agree. I don't know why anyone would want to trade Rondo is a league where having a dominant 1 is the next most important asset to having Lebron on your team. It just doesn't make sense to give him up for pennies to the dollar. I think Ainge is smart enough to trade Rondo only for an upgrade.

      This is like 2007 all over again. People were positioning themselves to tank for the Next Big Thing in the following year's draft (2008: Durant/Oden; 2014: Wiggins/Parker/Exum/etc). Meanwhile, the Celtics have an injured All-Star on the team (Rondo now, Pierce in '07) whom people definitely thought (Simmons was one of them although he hedged by saying Wyc had a huge picture of Truth in his office) would get traded. Then as now, we had a highly-regarded coach whom fans were split on — people aren't sure Stevens can make the transition. In 2007, people wanted Doc to get fired.

      We all saw how it all turned out in the end.

      Now, I'm not saying we're winning Banner 18 next season — but the thing is, Danny may be a lot of things but he's not stupid. His trades, even the Perk one (would you rather have Perk of Green today?) were all made with a mind towards paying dividends down the road. In hindsight, we may even have sold high on Perk — I don't think you could get a wing of (late-season 2013) Green's caliber today for Perk.

      As Zach Lowe pointed out, if the C's managed to trade Bass or Lee, we'd have serious cap room, we'd have Rondo and we'd have a high pick (assuming the people who think the C's will be the 8th seed in the East are wrong). That to me sounds like a better place to be in than one in which we traded Rondo just for picks and cap relief. The worst thing you can do to a high draft pick is not surround him with quality veterans and put the kind of pressure on him that playing in a city like Boston brings squarely on his shoulders. Some people like to say "look at the big picture" — but if you don't have quality help, would you remain with the team that drafted your or bolt elsewhere?

      In any case, I'd like nothing better than to see Pierce and KG win the title in Brooklyn. As much as that would sting (and it would sting like crazy) as a Celtics fan, it would at least give me the satisfaction of knowing that Lebron would still be one title short of catching Larry Legend.

      • KBA

        Yeah, the idea of trading Rondo makes no sense… you have one all star at a top 5 PG in a PG heavy league. I think best we can do is try and get a relatively young or in prime all star for some picks…. someone like Lemarcus Aldridge comes to mind. I think he would be a great fit and with him, Rondo and Green, we'll have a nice core and would likely need another all start caliber player to be in contention. This rebuilding on the fly might actually work if we can swing a couple of favorable trades. We definitely have contracts and picks of all kinds to make trades. Lee, Bass, and some other are worthwhile players for a playoff team. I am actually high on Kris Humphries at this point (didn't think that would ever happen). He can be a legit low post presence grabbing rebounds and I think would compliment Olynyk, Sullinger, Bass well.

        It'll be an interesting season regardless, for a change we're not just waiting for the "real season" to start (for better or worst).

  • OlSkool1972

    The Rondo trade angle is all in the mind of the delusional Bill Simmons. Jalen Rose just agrees with everything Simmons says and talks about whatever off the court BS he's done related to the City their talking about. Simmons just wishes he could be some Vegas hotshot hanging around with his Grantland buddies trying to pretend like their sport and gambling experts.

  • hax

    Just incase anyone is wondering who is the highest rated PG in the draft. Top 5 pick supposedly, Marcus Smart. Honestly if Rondo gets traded, there is no reason to keep anyone on the team except Olynyk. Trade everyone, stock up, and pray at the draft lottery.

  • I hope this will be a very good game! Rondo is the best!