If a politician you didn’t like said this, you’d decry it as semantics. And you’d be right. But while differences can be subtle, they can be meaningful.
Which brings us to Danny Ainge, the Celtics GM, who was asked for roughly the millionth time this year about pre-season talks to trade Rajon Rondo for Chris Paul during a WEEI radio interview (talks that obviously never came to fruition). His response, reported by ESPNBoston.com, explains where he is coming from.
First thing he made clear is that Rondo knows where things really stand.
“I sat down with Rondo when he got back into town, when the lockout ended, and I just told him the truth of what was going on. And that was it,” said Ainge. “I’ve had conversations since — I told him exactly what was happening…
“There are stories that come out later that try to dispute what I said [about not trying to trade Rondo at a season-opening] press conference, but I stand by that. I was not trying to trade Rajon Rondo. There’s a big difference between trying to acquire a player and trying to trade a player. I know that some people say, ‘Oh, that’s just semantics.’ No it’s not. Rondo knows what I was trying to do, and he knows I wasn’t shopping him around and trying to trade him, like has been reported. There’s a big difference.”
Ainge isn’t calling teams up trying to see if they want Rondo. However, if a team calls with a major trade asset — say CP3 — Rondo could be part of the discussion.
Which means Rondo isn’t untouchable, but with Ainge is anyone really untouchable? How many truly untouchable players are there in the league anyway? Maybe 12-15? And there are fewer true franchise anchors like Paul out there, so if someone calls and wants to talk about one, you talk.
Rondo is going to be the bridge to the future for the Celtics. Bank on it.
Well, unless someone calls with a better player. But Ainge isn’t making that call. You can decide for yourself how big a difference that is.