Morning, Hardwood Houdini readers!
As many of you know, the word on the street is that the New York Knicks have made an offer to the Boston Celtics in the hopes of acquiring Boston’s All-Star point guard, Rajon Rondo.
I came across this report while I was browsing through my Bing Sports app, and obviously I read through the news with great interest. According to both the New York Daily News and ESPNNewYork.com, the Knicks offered Iman Shumpert, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Raymond Felton to the Celtics, with Rondo being the piece the Knicks were the most interested in landing via this trade. The Celtics are reportedly not interested in pulling the trigger on such a deal which makes sense, given the fact that they would be trading Rondo to one of their very own Atlantic Division rivals.
Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge has been pretty open about the fact that he is not looking to trade Rajon Rondo. As he said back in July,
Maybe the assumption is that we’ll give away any of our players . . . I always listen to calls and listen to what ideas are, but we have no intentions of moving Rajon.
Rejecting an offer from the New York Knicks is a shrewd move, to be sure, and supports Ainge’s comments regarding the availability of Rondo. And yet . . . had this offer come from a team in another division, or from a team out west, would Ainge be so quick to say, “Thanks, but no thank you”?
Let’s consider some facts.
#1: Rondo’s injury “ isn’t easy” to return from.
Rondo Suffered a Partial ACL tear in January, and as he pointed out to reporters at the Celtics’ media day during the offseason, returning from this type of injury “isn’t easy.” Rondo referred to Chicago’s Derrick Rose as an example of how long it takes an athlete to feel mentally confident in his surgically repaired knee, and pointed out that, to a basketball player, “Our legs are pretty much everything.” Rondo may wind up taking longer than expected/desired before he feels able to take the court, which may cause the Celtics to lose patience with him, just as many fans and members of the media lost patience with Rose last season. There is also the concern that Rondo will not be the same player once he returns, whether that is due to a loss of explosiveness or simply a loss of confidence (which seems to be plaguing Ross this season).
#2: Rondo turns 28 in February.
No, 28 is not retirement age in the NBA, and yes, Rajon Rondo could have another 10+ years of basketball in his future, so his age is not really a concern. However, if Ainge was able to swap a 28 year-old point guard for a 23- year-old one, would he consider making such a move? Ainge has gone on the record as saying that the Celtics are looking to get younger, so one has to question whether Ainge would really hold onto Rondo if he could land a younger point guard with comparable talent in a deal of some sort.
I really enjoy watching Rondo play, and I think that he has a chance to lead the Celtics to their 18th banner with coach Brad Stevens at the helm. However, I know the NBA is a business, and sometimes, you wind up getting an offer you can’t refuse. I’ll put the vote in your hands now readers – if you were Danny Ainge, is there any chance you would trade Rajon Rondo by the end of this season?