We suggest before reading this report you have a shaker of salt with you. Unless you’re a Celtics fan, in which case you should have blood pressure medicine with you. But know up front we don’t totally buy this.
Chris Broussard at ESPN has suggested the Celtics will listen to offers for All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo.
While Boston is not shopping Rajon Rondo, it would be open to trading him in the right deal, sources say. The Celtics feel they need more scoring to take the load off of Paul Pierce.
If I were Boston I would consider trading Rondo as part of a deal to get Chris Paul out of New Orleans. Or Dwight Howard out of Orlando. That’s about it unless the Bulls decide to shop Derrick Rose (calm down Celtics fans, that’s not happening).
Rondo is not by himself a franchise cornerstone, but he’s the guy you want to pair with that cornerstone. He gave you 10.6 points and 11.2 assists per game and is a good defender, guys like that are not a dime a dozen. I get the need for scoring and the desire to make one more serious run this season with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Pierce. But Rondo is the guy who is at the center of this team three years from now, and you only move him for a guy who is better and still young.
There just aren’t many of those.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.