In one of the slower trade deadlines of the past few years, Rajon Rondo’s name keeps cropping up because, well, who honestly cares one way or the other if Will Bynum gets dealt?
Part of the reason his name keeps coming up is because one particular high-profile team won’t stop asking about him.
As SB Nation’s Seth Rosenthal puts it: “These are the Knicks. They have little to offer, they know you’re going to say no, but they get frustrated and desperate and just keep trying.”
To be fair, the Knicks aren’t completely without assets. Tim Hardaway Jr. looks like a nice young prospect, and a rare example of the Knicks drafting wisely. Iman Shumpert might be decent with a change of scenery. But neither player is the kind of talent Boston is searching for in a deal for Rondo, and the Knicks have absolutely no tradable draft picks to sweeten the pot. Danny Ainge is going to have to block James Dolan’s number pretty soon.
Sean Deveney of Sporting News reports that the chances Rondo gets dealt at the deadline are slim at best. He reports a higher asking price than we previously heard.
Sources told Sporting News this week that there is very little chance the Celtics find a deal involving Rondo this year.
“It really is the same thing, teams call about him but the Celtics want him and he wants to be the leader of that team,” one source said. “It has always been his intention to establish himself in that role, to be part of the rebuilding and to stay in Boston for a long time. Nothing has changed.”
Teams hoping to take advantage of Rondo’s down numbers, though, have found themselves disappointed — the Celtics’ asking price for Rondo remains high. Boston would require a package that includes multiple first-round draft picks plus a young player with All-Star potential.
Phrasing is important, and notice that reports are talking about Boston’s “asking price” or what the Celtics would “require” in exchange for Rondo. You aren’t really seeing reports saying the Celtics have offered him to anyone. That’s an important distinction, especially since Danny Ainge told media recently that Rondo was going nowhere.
Regardless, this is probably the most encouraging anonymously sourced quote one can imagine. “The Celtics want” Rondo, and it’s his intention to “stay in Boston for a long time.” Rondo’s a tough guy to read, but if this source has it right, Celtics fans who want Rondo to stay through the rebuilding period can take some pretty significant comfort here.
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