Rajon Rondo

Report: Celtics never seriously considered trading Rajon Rondo

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Once Celtics GM Danny Ainge came to the conclusion that Boston’s aging core was no longer capable of contending for a title, he traded away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, and plunged the team into a full-fledged rebuild in the process.

It was widely believed around the league that All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo was available, too, and could have been had for the right price. But a rebuild has to begin with elite-level talent at some point, and Rondo is a piece that the team apparently had no intention of trading at this time.

From Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

The wave of phone calls the Celtics received in early July about Rondo has passed, and according to league sources, Boston never seriously entertained dealing their flighty point guard. Rumored talks with Detroit were “overblown,” a source said, and Rondo does not want out of Boston. Rondo is coming off ACL surgery, which bumps down his value, and the Celtics were not planning on selling low regardless.

The low trade value may have had as much to do with Boston standing pat as anything, and unless there was a combination of cap relief (in the form of packaging a bad contract in a Rondo deal — you know, like the one Gerald Wallace is on the books for) and future first round draft picks, the Celtics weren’t going to give up on Rondo before they see what he’s capable of under new head coach Brad Stevens.

Al Horford shows he still has hops dunking on Solomon Hill (VIDEO)

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That’s just nasty.

Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.

Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.

Dwyane Wade shows he still has hops with dunk on Hornets (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade still has some springs.

In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.

Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.

Reigning dunk champ LaVine: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.

LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.

LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.

If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.

Report: Blake Griffin has second procedure on hand, timeline remains unchanged

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Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).

That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.

This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.

Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.

And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.