As a blogger/writer who covers the Celtics extensively, I want to give Jackie MacMullan (and MassLive’s Jay King, who unearthed the video clip) a big thank you for giving us something to write about on September 2 with the Rajon Rondo news. A search for Celtics news other than Rajon Rondo at the moment turns up results such as realignment updates for the Keizer Celtics of Oregon and football preseason stories about the Trinity Celtics of Hutchinson, Kansas. It’s a dead time of year.
Unfortunately, the Rondo rumors — as juicy as they are for bloggers who cover the team in all of its minutiae — aren’t likely to amount to anything. Not unlike, for example, every other Rondo trade rumor that’s ever existed.
“It doesn’t matter if he wants to be traded,” said Ryan. “They’re not trading him. He’s not tradable right now. Nobody’s seen him play and that’s that. If he is traded, it will be at the trading deadline.”
“You can’t trade him until somebody has looked at him and see what you’re getting. Because it certainly was inconclusive based on what we saw at the end of last year.”
This is not some kind of indictment against Jackie Mac, who 1) wasn’t giving an official report, 2) has incredible sources and 3) is ludicrously good at sports journalism. It’s just that everyone believes Rajon Rondo is either staying or going, everyone has an opinion on whether that’s good or bad for the Celtics, and nobody is going to budge from those positions until Rondo is either traded or signs an extension. And frankly, even if he signs an extension, trade rumors will probably continue barring a max deal with a no-trade clause, and even if he signs an NTC, people will probably speculate whether he’d be willing to waive that NTC to be traded to Sacramento or Detroit or LA or Houston and you see how exhausting this all gets?
For the time being, as Bob Ryan pointed out, the most likely scenario is that Rondo starts the year with the Celtics. We have no idea how he’ll perform for the first few months, but it will likely determine whether he stays or goes one way or the other.
Tom Ziller had perhaps the most optimistic take on Rondo’s future with the Celtics — a future similar to Paul Pierce’s. A franchise player buys in with the franchise, signs a max contract, helps attract other established stars that leads to a championship contender.
But despite the narrative similarities, the 2014-15 Celtics are not the 2005-06 team, nor is Rajon Rondo Paul Pierce. The idea that Rondo could be the reincarnation of 2007 Paul Pierce is nice speculation, but it’s nothing more than that.
Again, it’s not impossible that Rondo DOES have a career path similar to Pierce’s. But there’s no way to know for sure, and the speculation is realistically getting us nowhere.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.