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Rajon Rondo reportedly ‘more available now than ever before’

May 16, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

New York Knicks v Boston Celtics New York Knicks v Boston Celtics

Rajon Rondo is competing with Kobe Bryant, DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Drummond as the best player on a sub-30-win team.

It’s not exactly an ideal place – for the player or the team.

Rondo surely wants to play for a better team than last year’s Celtics, and the Celtics surely want to put a better team around him. Same with Kobe and the Lakers, Cousins and the Kings, Drummond and the Pistons. But the timing of those rebuilds can be difficult, especially with good players helping to keep their team from landing too high in the lottery.

So, inevitably, trade discussions arise. Kobe, Cousins and Drummond are all – for now at least – entrenched with their current teams on multi-year contracts. So, they’re not on the market the same way.

Rondo, on the other hand, has a contract that expires after next season.

Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald:

But what we’ve been hearing for a while and in more concerted tones here is that Rajon Rondo may be more available now than ever before.

The Celts’ president of basketball operations, as well, dismissed talk of Rondo’s obtainability.

“That’s all speculation,” Ainge said. “Those aren’t facts. People don’t know that, so it’s just people speculating on Rondo’s free agency next summer. That’s all that you’re hearing. You’re not hearing any facts from anybody. Those conversations haven’t even been discussed, so that’s just speculation.”

Danny Ainge also shot down a report by Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, which said, the Knicks “snubbed a trade that would’ve brought Rajon Rondo to New York.” Regardless of the report’s accuracy, Ainge would likely scoff anyway to protect Rondo’s feelings.

But that can last only so long.

Ainge can deny any of this all he wants. If he’s not exploring Rondo trades, he’s making a mistake.

Rondo, 28, is young enough to still be very good when the Celtics next get good. They, ideally, should be patient with him and make him a key piece of their next team designed to win (unlike this year’s tank squad).

However, Rondo doesn’t necessarily share that patience. He can bolt in a free agency, and Boston losing him for nothing would be a major setback. Ainge must weigh the odds he can re-sign Rondo against what Rondo would fetch in a trade before next year’s trade deadline.

That’s, as Ainge said, speculation by me. It should also be reality for him.

  1. karlton3 - May 16, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    George Hill + Scola (declined option) + 1st round pick to bring Rondo to the Pacers to bring more offensive playmaking and same high level defense.

    • jcmeyer10 - May 16, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      Hahahahahah yah, thanks for the laugh. I needed that this morning.

      • 00maltliquor - May 16, 2014 at 11:32 AM

        Sweet baby Jesus, that was one of the worst trade proposals I’ve ever seen in the comment section!

      • jcmeyer10 - May 16, 2014 at 11:32 AM

        I know. Most the bad ones you know are just trolls. This guy seemed serious.

    • felser - May 16, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      Not enough. That’s a very low first-rounder.

    • bougin89 - May 16, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say Ainge won’t except that offer…

      • bougin89 - May 16, 2014 at 10:48 AM

        **accept**

        al;sdkfjal;dkjf;alsdkjfal;skdjf;alkdfj

    • borderline1988 - May 16, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      Picks at the bottom of the first round are worth very little..This would be a great trade for Indiana, they’d be getting much better without giving up anything of value. If I were the Celtics, I’d just wait Rondo out until free agency if this is the best deal you can get..

      • jcmeyer10 - May 16, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        Haha yah, you could get a better deal with 1/10 the leverage the Celtics have right now.

    • john242322 - May 16, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      George Hill+ Evan Turner and a draft pick. Sold

      • turkbox420 - May 17, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        Not bad. Rondo for a pick, a point guard and cap space.

      • asianballa - Jun 24, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        throw in Stephenson and just maybe ainge will listen…

    • martyks55 - May 16, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      Okay, maybe not the best trade idea for the Celtics, but the Pacers are the best place for Rondo. They should figure out a way to get him. What I don’t get is why he’s more available now. Wouldn’t it have been better to have sent him away earlier in the season so the Celtics would have ended up with a better pick? Maybe they thought they were going to end up with a pretty good pick anyway, and Rondo would continue to bring in a few fans.

      Do the Pacers have anything they are willing to give up that the Celtics need? I don’t see it happening, but it sure would be great for the Pacers. Both teams have to benefit though, or a trade just doesn’t happen.

      • TheMorningStar - May 17, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        Lebron James is a great fit for 30 other teams…but i don’t see that happening either.

        C’mon people, get with reality.

  2. txmade06 - May 16, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    He’d look real good in ketchup and mustard!

    • jimeejohnson - May 16, 2014 at 11:44 AM

      Better in avocado.

  3. johndylanthe1st - May 16, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    He’s going to the Lakers

  4. onlyavoice - May 16, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    McHale & the Rockets gets 1st dibs.
    McHale literally handed Ainge Garnet.
    Ainge is two faced though. He will want someone to gut their team & throw in picks before returning a favor.
    Look how many times he promised His big 3 that they were not on the trading block,
    only to find out later that he did try to deal them, but the deals fell through because he asked too much.
    Rondo is a goner.

    • turkbox420 - May 17, 2014 at 10:25 AM

      What? Minny got a YOUNG Al Jefferson and others. Al Jefferson is a 20 and 10 guy. Not Ainge`s fault he got hurt.

  5. john242322 - May 16, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Rondo, I’ll see u next year in a Pacer’s uniform

  6. ProBasketballPundit - May 16, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Tanking

  7. thehumburger - May 16, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    I suppose after you print the “Rondo is on the trading block” rumor for the ten thousandth time, you have to ratchet up the urgency with “Now he’s more available than ever!” for anyone to pay attention.

  8. lphboston - May 16, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Ainge is not going to let his best player walk away. Rondo either signs a long-term deal in the next month or he’s gone by draft night.

    Since Rondo has talked about how he’d like to be whined and dined as a free agent, it has to be at least 60/40 that he’s out the door, maybe 70/30.

    As to the Knicks rumor, get real. The Knicks have nothing to offer.

    • basketballbro - May 16, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      The best offer I can think of that the Knicks can offer would be sending Stoudemire, THjr & Shumpert for Rondo and 1 of the Celtic’s bad contracts (wallace/humphries)… Still not good enough IMO

      • AZ Dem - May 17, 2014 at 3:07 AM

        Amare can’t play for anybody else. Amare wound up with the NYK because Dolan was the only owner stupid enough to take on his contract w/o the benefit of an insurance policy.

        No insurance company on the planet is going to insure Amare’s contract.

        Once Amare’s contract expires, he’s done. If he wants to continue to try to play, he’s going to have to take the veteran’s minimum salary.

    • therealhtj - May 16, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      Rondo can’t sign better than a 3 year extension worth roughly half of what he can command if he waits until he’s a free agent. So by your logic, he’s already gone.

  9. TheMorningStar - May 16, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Guess it time for another 100% conjecture piece about Rajon Rondo.

    This isn’t newsworthy at all, this is a pure op-ed story….and a poor one at that.

    ProBasketballSpeculation is more apt.

  10. gymtruthteller - May 16, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Rondo is a big reason the Celtics stick and anyone with a brain know Ainge has been trying to trade him all along.

  11. tmdill18 - May 16, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Funny watching Bill Simmons pick apart and trash every other team, while his Celtics are going to be bad for several years.

  12. westof1club - May 16, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Westbrook for Rondo straight up. The only way OKC ever wins a championship with Durant.

  13. realfootballfan - May 16, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    Houston should be all over this. However, McHale will still be the coach so it might not matter.

  14. imakcds - May 16, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    wow!! ANOTHER story about trading Rondo?
    we’ve been hearing that for YEARS, and YOU KNOW it’s true, unless you are a Celtic Fan.

  15. AZ Dem - May 17, 2014 at 3:17 AM

    This is monumental stupidity. Rondo was hardly an All Star player last year. Yes, he was injured. But, sorry, Tex, I’m not going to trade for a guy who may or may not have recovered from injury.

    If Ainge moves Rondo, it’s because Rondo is damaged goods.

    Rondo’s value on the market is lower than it has ever been. Ainge isn’t stupid. Sell high, buy low. Ainge gets it.

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