Post-game Reactions

Despite recent reports that Rajon Rondo could be cleared for action within a couple weeks, Danny Ainge took a different stance today on 98.5 The Sports Hub with Toucher & Rich. Ainge gave a few candid answers, remarking that although Rondo has been making progress in his rehab, there’s a long way to go for him, making his return this month doubtful now.

On Rondo’s status: “I don’t think he’s close, meaning, I don’t think it’s going to happen the next few weeks. We’re not on pins and needles about it. We’re being very cautious with Rondo. I think he’s still got a little bit of a limp, his strength is not quite there, but he is making progress. We’re not close.”

On how Rondo’s progressing in practice: “He was in a 2-on-2 game and was really competing and having run. He was playing with (Phil) Pressey and Courney Lee and MarShon Brooks, and the four of them were having a very competitive battle,” said Ainge. “Rondo didn’t win one of the games and he was very upset. He was trying, but he’s just not himself yet.”

On his condition:  “He’s getting there, and he’s pushing himself to get there. But he’s not there yet,” said Ainge. “We’re going to be very cautious with him and make sure he’s right before he comes back. There’s just a little bit of a limp still, and he’s got to get that strength in his knee back to 100 percent before we’ll let him back out on the court.”

CH’s Take: This team has had to fight hard most nights this season and if they want to continue to stay above water in the Eastern Conference, they’ll have to do so without Rondo for the at least the next month it looks like. While I have no doubt the team wants to be as cautious as possible to protect their franchise star, the crowded batch of ineffective teams in the Eastern Conference leaves the C’s as a team that probably doesn’t want their best player back just yet.

Rondo will return, likely sometime in January 2014, however by that point, some trades of other veterans on the roster may be in motion. Ainge knows he needs those guys to get playing time now in order to get any true value for them in a deal, so that’s just another reason to make sure Rondo is 110 percent for making his return to the lineup.

For now, the wait and the Jordan Crawford show continues, and that may not necessarily be a bad thing.

You can check out the full interview by Toucher & Rich with Ainge on CBSBostonSports.com.

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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.
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  • Anthony

    Just thought of a trade scenario and wanted to see what other Celts fan think of it.

    Humphries and AB for Danny Granger.
    1) Dollar wise, it saves the Celts about half a mil.
    2) Even if Celts can't deal Wallace, they have 3 legit guys (Wallace, JGreen, Granger) that can rotate at the 2 and 3.
    3) Rondo + Granger + Green + Sully = Very solid
    4) Would anyone care if we lend Legend a helping hand?

    I would prefer to trade CLee instead Ab but I doubt the Pacers would want his long contract.

    • Eric

      I don't think we want Granger, who I think will command more money than he's worth at this point. Humphries effect is neutral, of course, since he's expiring and won't be re-signed.

      So basically the trade comes down to us trading Bradley for nothing. I don't like that.

      • Anthony

        It depends how much we think Granger is worth. He's in the final year of his contract and it's unlikely the Pacers will resign him. My guess is that he could still command ~$8-10mil if he comes back and plays at a similar level pre-injury. By comparison, Kevin Martin's contract is under $28 mil for 4 years.

        It comes down to whether you prefer to pay Granger or AB (who I'm still unsure how much he can command). Obviously I would prefer to trade Wallace & Lee for Granger but I don't want to insult Legend's intelligence.

    • hax

      Some team who fails to tank this year and gets stuck with the 13th pick overall would throw huge money at granger just to give hope to their fanbase. I'd only do that deal if he agreed to a 4 year/$12 extension with us.(3 mill/year) Rondo-Granger-Green-Sullinger-Faverani is a pretty sweet line-up. Not to mention Crawford-Lee-Wallace-Bass-Olynyk as our bench, at that point.

      • Anthony

        It's a bit of a contradiction to say that teams will throw huge money at him and he would agree to a $3mil per contract. Also, there are better options for teams that miss the lottery… Hayward, Evan Turner, Chandlers Parsons, Bledsoe, Rudy Gay, any player from the Lakers/ Heats that you deem worthy. I think in all likelihood, Granger could get a similar deal like JGreen.

        And as much as I like AB, I just can't see him getting substantially better to be near All-Star level.

        • YouSerious?

          I'm really, really confused by all of this…what has Danny Granger done in the last two seasons to suggest he's worth any kind of money? I'd be scared stiff to sign him. Loved him 4 years ago, but today? He's gotta prove he's still got it.

          • Anthony

            That's a fair point but Humphries and AB hasn't exactly been all that great the past 2 years either.

            The risk/ payoff is in Granger coming back and being a legit starter rather than paying and waiting for AB to develop into one. Is it worth the risk? Maybe, maybe not but worst case scenario he comes off the book for $14+ mil next year and Celts save the half mil in salary are still in the same position they are currently in.

          • YouSerious?

            Granger is not as good as Avery Bradley is right now at this point. The guy vanished off the face of the Earth after the injuries, and he's never going to be a guy who averages something like 18-19 ppg again. I'd rather have someone with potential/upside rather than a guy who will never even come close to where he was again. That suggested trade is literally giving away Avery Bradley for nothing in the end.

            People get so low on Bradley, but he's a solid contributor. I never expect him to make an all-star game, but I don't care because he brings a style of play that help maintain/form a mentality for his team. People sure loved him when he came back from injury and helped lift the Celtics from mediocrity last year. I mean, this is a guy that was able to supplant Ray Allen, and for good reason at the time: he was the better player. I'd like to see a player we draft develop, its nice.

          • Jim

            The only reason Bradley took Ray Allen's spot in the rotation is because Ray was battling bones spurs in his ankle. People seem to forget that. Bradley is a decent player but I agree that he will be not be making an all star team. To me his offense and defense come in streaks. He sometimes takes far too many shots but of course a good reason for that is we have no guys like Ray Allen anymore. I believe we have a decent defense butt until we find some one who can light up the score board it will be a long season.

          • YouSerious?

            We need a guy who can shoot consistently from mid to 3pt range at shooting guard, yes, but that doesn't mean we have to send Bradley packing. We need players like Bradley on the team because he gives us energy, hustle, and defense, and he can be serviceable as a spot up 3 guy.

            Guys who have the capability to play the kind of defense Bradley brings are not common in this league. He's still young enough to grow, too. I remember his first year on the Celtics: he looked like he had rec center handles and drives, and no hope for an offensive game whatsoever. He's already come a long way, in my opinion.

          • Anthony

            Let me say again that I like AB's game and everything that he brings but it's not even certain that he will be back next season. There will probably be teams that will bid for him forcing the Celts to overpay and match. If a team offer him $25mil/ 4 years, should the Celts match? IMO, probably not.

            I don't know the extent Granger's injury but I like the idea of a starting lineup of Rondo/ Granger/ Green/ Sully better than Rondo/ AB/ Green/ Sully.

  • High Rollers

    The stance doesn't sound all that different. If 9 meets with the knee doc in two weeks (as previously speculated) and then takes two weeks of practice before seeing game action (as DA has mentioned before), that's right around the early days of 2014.

    It's the "limp" part I wonder about. Is that for real? Physical? Mental? Why did Danny throw that in there?