Having understandably skipped his weekly appearance on 98.5′s Toucher and Rich yesterday to better concentrate on not trading anyone, Danny Ainge joined Felger and Mazz this afternoon on The Sports Hub radio to talk about the trade deadline. During the course of the interview, he told the hosts that Rondo not only wasn’t close to going to the Rockets, discussions never began in the first place.
I think there’s a lot of people that have had interest in Rondo, but Houston was never ever in a discussion with us throughout the whole trade deadline. Parsons never came up, Rondo never came up. I saw four or five different talk shows, ESPN guys talking in the studio about these issues. Someone just made it up. It was created out of the air and reported on for the next week.
There are a few possibilities here:
Possibility 1: Danny is outright lying. This doesn’t seem likely. Houston could easily leak something that would make him look bad if he was simply not telling the truth.
Possibility 2: Danny is telling the God’s honest truth. This also doesn’t seem likely, if only because around the trade deadline, smoke = fire, even if the embers aren’t exactly flaming.
Possibility 3: Danny is stretching the truth…a little. While he is denying that any discussion took place, it seems more plausible that Houston called and asked about Rondo. If this was the case, and Danny told them that any deal not involving Chandler Parsons wasn’t going to happen, he would be accurate in saying there wasn’t a “discussion.” Stretching the truth seems like the wisest course of action — if he admitted he talked to Houston, he probably knows the internet would melt down with stories saying the Celtics “ALMOST TRADED RONDO!” when, in fact, discussions never had any traction whatsoever.
One way or the other, Rondo is still in Boston. Ainge had some thoughts on whether the Celtics were planning on keeping him:
We love him. We like who he is.
I’ve been tempted once [to trade Rondo], and we tried to make a deal. It didn’t work, and we really haven’t been tempted since…A lot of people have their franchise point guards when they go draft, and when they bring in their guy, they don’t want to pay a heavy price for someone of Rondo’s caliber.
The deal Danny is referring to is likely the rumored Chris Paul trade back in 2011 when Paul was a free agent.
Meanwhile, it’s good to hear Ainge talking about the value of having your franchise point guard in place. Had the Celtics dealt Rondo, they might very well have been looking at drafting a point guard in this year’s draft. Between Marcus Smart (slipping quickly), Dante Exum (nobody has seen him, he may be catfishing us) and Tyler Ennis (who looks good, but may not be a franchise changer), the point guard class doesn’t appear to be as loaded as other positions. If the Celtics are able to bring in “their guy” in the draft AND keep Rondo, the rebuilding process may kick into a high gear much sooner than we anticipated.
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