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Celtics GM Ainge explains he was not trying to trade Rondo

Jan 6, 2012, 1:26 PM EDT

Boston Celtics v New York Knicks Getty Images

If a politician you didn’t like said this, you’d decry it as semantics. And you’d be right. But while differences can be subtle, they can be meaningful.

Which brings us to Danny Ainge, the Celtics GM, who was asked for roughly the millionth time this year about pre-season talks to trade Rajon Rondo for Chris Paul during a WEEI radio interview (talks that obviously never came to fruition). His response, reported by, explains where he is coming from.

First thing he made clear is that Rondo knows where things really stand.

“I sat down with Rondo when he got back into town, when the lockout ended, and I just told him the truth of what was going on. And that was it,” said Ainge. “I’ve had conversations since — I told him exactly what was happening…

“There are stories that come out later that try to dispute what I said [about not trying to trade Rondo at a season-opening] press conference, but I stand by that. I was not trying to trade Rajon Rondo. There’s a big difference between trying to acquire a player and trying to trade a player. I know that some people say, ‘Oh, that’s just semantics.’ No it’s not. Rondo knows what I was trying to do, and he knows I wasn’t shopping him around and trying to trade him, like has been reported. There’s a big difference.”

Ainge isn’t calling teams up trying to see if they want Rondo. However, if a team calls with a major trade asset — say CP3 — Rondo could be part of the discussion.

Which means Rondo isn’t untouchable, but with Ainge is anyone really untouchable? How many truly untouchable players are there in the league anyway? Maybe 12-15? And there are fewer true franchise anchors like Paul out there, so if someone calls and wants to talk about one, you talk.

Rondo is going to be the bridge to the future for the Celtics. Bank on it.

Well, unless someone calls with a better player. But Ainge isn’t making that call. You can decide for yourself how big a difference that is.

  1. brooklynbulls - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Everytime Ainge opens his mouth a lie falls out. The fact he continues to spin this particular lie should be an insult to anyone listening. The Hornets did not call him about Rondo, Ainge was actively and openly shopping him. Ainge is a snake.

  2. Zammael - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Antics with Semantics, by Danny Ainge!

  3. david8726 - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    “Celtics GM Ainge lies about trying to trade Rondo.”

    Fixed the headline for you.

  4. loungefly74 - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    this is what you call “damage control”.

    hey, can you blame Ainge? he pissed off a leader of the club. the sensible thing to do is say something to soften the blow to rondo’s heart.

  5. rooney24 - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Guess I am likely in the minority that understand and agree with what Ainge is saying. He wasn’t calling everyone to push Rondo out of town, like you might do with some players. But, he called to inquire about Paul. I would bet half the teams in the league at least called to gauge interest.

  6. bozosforall - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Look at the Ainge excusemakers. What a joke he is and you all are. The ONLY reason why they won one measly title in the last 25 years was because Ainge’s butt buddy McWhore GAVE him Garnett for a bunch of players who haven’t done squat since in the NBA.

  7. lakerluver - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Dang it, if my LAKERS hadn’t already traded Lamar we could’ve shipped him to Beantown for Rajon. We would’ve even given them Metta and Luke Walton too!!

  8. muhangis - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Listen up Rooney, before you sound any more like a naive clown, do you actually think that Boston would overload w/ two talented pg’s Rondo and CP3 (sitting one on the bench), while play w/ major holes elsewhere on the team? Or that N.O would not be in major need of a point guard in that case?
    Do you think Garnett, Allen, or Pierce at their old age are worth any trade value to a ‘rebuilding’ team such the Hornets? Ainge has always been known as one who’d lie his butt off in order to cover it. So get a clue my friend.

  9. muhangis - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    I imagine that Rondo is the only young player in Boston that the Hornets could want, in return for an enormous talent as Chris Paul. Especially since New Orleans would NEED a pg once Chris is gone.

    They have absolutely NO ONE else (point guard) on their squad to substitute for the position. So bottom-line conclusion: Ainge is a big time liar.

  10. pukpokito - Jan 7, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    They are all right.I see everybody’s point.People are pissed off about the Kendrick Perkins deal and have lost trust on ainge since.Ainge realIy messed up on that.worse, he tried to get him back during the draft.I think Ainge did that with the long term plan of getting Howard.Problem is, Howard is more of a Laker at heart than he is a celtic.Everyone sees this.Just not worth not trading Perkins who is a celtic by heart.This will haunt Ainge now.Rondo is the only trade chip.It is a good thing they will have cap space.somebody is going to want to get paid.Celtics better asses their prospects well.tsk tsk Danny.I am a pissed of Celtic fan too.what were you thinking?

  11. cluelessdufus - Jan 7, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    suppose they trade rondo at most considering that whats up with the thunder and westbrook that a trade would be westbrook for rondo but still theres a good chance that they will not trade rondo butif they do mabey you could see a somewhere a 3 part trade between the magic, celtics and lakers but rondo is the face of the franchise and probably wont leave mabey after his contract is up but if he did here is some things to think about for a possible if he did get traded

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