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.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.