Amid all of the stories that broke out about Kevin Love‘s visit to Boston this past weekend, the one story that surfaced and caught my eye immediately focused on another soon-to-be free agent: Celtics’ own Rajon Rondo.
According to comments he made at the team’s practice facility, Rondo doesn’t want to play anywhere but Boston:
I don’t like change, really. I’m pretty comfortable. I have a beautiful home here, I love it. I don’t want to leave. I’m a Celtic.
Contrast Rondo’s comments and behavior with that of Love’s, and what you see is that we have two superstars, both of whom are set to become free agents in 2015, acting entirely differently. The fact that Love is actively seeking a trade, and that Rondo is publicly championing remaining a Celtic, is a win-win for Boston Celtics fans.
Yes – probably. See, the difference between Rondo and Love is that Rondo trusts Danny Ainge:
At the end of the day, I want to win. I want to win now. And I’m sure Danny . . . will have the guys in here where we’ll be able to compete for a title. I don’t just want to make the playoffs, get to the first or second round. When I compete or when I make it to the playoffs, I expect to win every time.
Rondo has seen first-hand how quickly Ainge can turn a franchise around, having gone from a 24-58 season in 2006-2007 to winning the team’s 17th NBA Championship on 2007-2008. The team that Ainge assembled also returned to the NBA Final ins 2009-2010, which proves that Ainge was not just interested in creating a one-and-done type team: Danny Ainge likes to win, and he will do everything he can to build a team that will win not one, not two, not three . . . sorry – you get my drift.
Kevin Love, on the other hand, has never even made it to the playoffs. He has no reason to believe things will be any different in Minnesota next year, and he wants to get the hell out of dodge as quickly as he can. His situation is currently the exact opposite of Rondo’s, which is why he is being so blatant about letting his desire to be traded known.
Fast forward to this time next year, however, and Rondo could resemble Mr. Love more than any of us Boston Celtics fans would like, depending on how the 2014-2015 pans out. Sure, Rondo wants to stay out today – but force him to endure another season in which he loses 50+ games, with no sign of improvement on the horizon, and this feel-good story is over.
So listen up, Danny Ainge: you’re officially on the clock. Should the Boston Celtics fail to make the playoffs next year due to any reason other than a terrible slew of injuries, Rajon Rondo is going to singing a different tune. If you can’t land Kevin Love, Trader Danny, you better draft well and pick up SOMEONE during the offseason who will be worth around 10 wins next season, or else Rondo is going to go from “I don’t like change,” to “Change is good.” Tick tock!