WALTHAM — Rajon Rondo held court with the media Monday afternoon in Waltham after observing the team work out 12 draft prospects prior to the 2014 NBA Draft.
There was little talk about the youngsters however, as the focus of the media’s discussion with Boston’s captain quickly veered to his chance encounter with Kevin Love. Rondo was spotted greeting the vacationing Timberwolves power forward at Fenway Park on Sunday.
So what did the pair speak about? Rondo said he kept things short in the conversation, 39 seconds to be exact. Was it long enough for the point guard to make a pitch though?
“No, the only pitch that was thrown I think was [by] Jon Lester, he threw out a couple pitches,” Rondo said. “I didn’t pitch anything. I just told him just enjoy his time here.”
Rondo also spoke about the relationship with the two players.
“We do work together, we play against each other, we compete, so when I saw Kevin I spoke. I wished him good luck here, his time in Boston, he spent a couple days here in Boston. I told him I was spending a couple months here in Boston,” Rondo said.
The point guard raved about Love’s ability on the floor as well.
“I don’t need to say how good he is. The world sees it every night, or sees the stats every night. He puts up great numbers. But I think he wants to win now,” Rondo explained.
Like Love, Rondo has been the subject of trade speculation over the past few months. After addressing the Love meeting, Rondo took time to touch upon his own future in Boston, stating again for the record his preference is to stay a Celtic long-term.
“I love it here,” Rondo explained. “I have a great neighbor, the best neighbor in the world. I don’t want to leave. It’s just part of the process that I’ll talk about once the season’s over. As of now I’m a Celtic. I’ve been training here, the staff has been doing pretty good as far as my rehab. I’ve been working every day. This is home for me as of now.”
For the Celtics to keep Rondo happy though when his contract expires after next summer, they need to make some serious improvements to the roster. That’s where a player like Love might come in via trade, or even another player that could be a free agent this summer…Carmelo Anthony. Rondo brought up his name today as well.
“We would be a lot better if we had a guy like Kevin [Love]. He’s a range-shooting four. He’s going to help on the glass. Obviously we haven’t been the best on the glass in the last couple years, he’ll do a better job at that aspect. But this is all speculation. Nothing’s happened, nothing’s set in stone.”
Rondo continued: “We could talk about Kevin [Love] all day or we can insert Carmelo [Anthony’s] name in there all day. Nothing’s happened. We have a couple days left before the draft, things might shake up around that time. You never know. It’s still a long summer until the beginning of training camp.”
In the meantime, Rondo can only sit on the sidelines as the Boston front office explores the possibilities. The point guard gave Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge a strong vote of confidence in that department as well.
“I trust a lot in Danny,” Rondo said. “He’s turned this thing around before. I have faith in him. I believe in Danny. I think we do need another big-time player. But that’s all his job. He’s working on that now and I completely have faith in him.”
For now, the waiting game continues as Rondo hopes Ainge can take another major step forward with the team’s rebuild in the summer months to come.