Yesterday, we found out the Boston Celtics have been one of the most active teams exploring the NBA trade market this year. Now it appears those talks have centered around one name in particular: team captain Rajon Rondo.
League sources told Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports that the Celtics have shown an “increased” willingness to deal Rondo in recent days.
As much as ever in his nine seasons in Boston, the Celtics have left strong impressions with rival organizations that they’re prepared to make a deal that includes Rondo, sources said. Boston has been engaged in discussions described as “serious” in recent days, but no trade agreement is imminent. Boston’s asking price for Rondo remains “pretty high, probably higher than most want to pay,” one league official told Yahoo.
The newest report is a major shift in philosophy from Danny Ainge before the season began. The Celtics president said on numerous occasions during the offseason that the team was not looking to trade Rondo.
“I have no intention [to trade Rondo],” Ainge said in September. I’m not trying to trade Rondo, but because he’s a free agent this summer, he assured me that he wants to stay in Boston. We’d love to keep him in Boston.”
Rondo is earning $12.9 million in the final year of a five-year contract he signed with Boston back in 2009. He is averaging eight points, 7.5 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game this season.
Despite Rondo’s solid all-around numbers, the Celtics have not played well out of the gate, putting together a 8-14 record to begin the season. The point guard has also struggled mightily with his shot, perhaps convincing the team’s front office that they would prefer to move on with their rebuild without him, for the right trade return.
This is a story that won’t be going away anytime soon, but for the time being it appears that the Rondo rumors have gotten off to an early start this year.