Tag: Rajon Rondo

Boston Celtics v Washington Wizards

Report: Celtics now more willing to trade Rajon Rondo


The only person in professional sports to be named in more trade rumors over the past couple years than Rajon Rondo is the MLB’s “player to be named later.”

That has included this year because Rondo’s contract is up at the end of the season and the Celtics, in the middle of a rebuilding mode, may struggle to keep him. Which means Rondo can’t even go to breakfast with Kobe Bryant without that setting off a flood of baseless rumors.

But not all the rumors that Rondo could be moved are baseless. The Celtics apparently are more serious than ever about moving Rondo, reports Marc Spears at Yahoo Sports.

As much as ever in his nine seasons in Boston, the Celtics have left strong impressions with rival organizations that they’re prepared to make a deal that includes Rondo, sources said. Boston has been engaged in discussions described as “serious” in recent days, but no trade agreement is imminent.

Boston’s asking price for Rondo remains “pretty high, probably higher than most want to pay,” one league official told Yahoo. Trade talks with Rondo have been focused more in the Western Conference than Eastern, sources said.

That asking price could be a real issue. In the past the Celtics have demanded a top 20 type of player in return for Rondo — or a boatload of picks — and even if they bring that price down some in an effort to get a deal done, how much are teams really going to surrender for a player that can walk at the end of the season? Teams can try to make a handshake deal with Rondo about staying wherever he gets traded, but still because he could bolt teams are not likely to give up key pieces.

Plus, Rondo is a point guard and the NBA is stacked like never before with quality ones — a number of teams will not be in the market because they are set at the spot. Just ask Eric Bledsoe.

Still, Rondo can be a key player on a championship team — he has the ring to prove it. He is long, athletic and a very good and disruptive defender on the perimeter. He has great court vision, he has handles and can get in the lane, but when he does he prefers to pass instead of shoot. Rondo is averaging 10.6 assists and 7.5 rebounds a game, but also 8 points a game on 40 percent shooting (and 24 percent from three).

When the Celtics drafted Marcus Smart a lot of people around the league thought they would look to move Rondo. It seems they are serious about trying.

But we’re a long way from a deal getting done.

PBT’s NBA Power Rankings: It’s the Warriors world

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green

If you’ve been wondering “when do the Western Conference powers start beating up each other?” the answer is pretty much now. As we head into the Christmas day slate of games things will get interesting, but for now the top remains the same as Golden State is just winning and winning and winning.

source:  1. Warriors (21-2, Last Week No. 1). When Andrew Bogut was out we quickly saw how much he meant to this team — the rim protection on defense was not nearly the same, and equally important his passing on offense that helps them move the ball strong to weak quickly was gone. For about a half. By the time Golden State rolled into Dallas Saturday they were again a force again in an impressive win. Still, Bogut is key for them come the playoffs, best to get him fully healthy now.

source:  2. Rockets (18-5, LW 3). The Rockets were 8-3 with Dwight Howard out (surprisingly Rockets had fifth best defense in league in last 10 without Howard) and in that time James Harden averaged 29.1 points a game, shot 39 percent from three, dished out 6.1 assist and pulled down 6 rebounds a game. James Harden is playing like an MVP, and that didn’t change on Howard’s return when Harden dropped a triple double Saturday.

source:  3. Grizzlies (19-4, LW 6) I only moved them up to third because while they beat Charlotte and Philadelphia they didn’t exactly look good doing it. This coming week is different, win these games any way you can and you move up: Warriors, Spurs, Bulls and Cavaliers.

source:  4. Trail Blazers (18-6. LW 4). They have a top 10 offense, a top 10 defense, they look like they can beat anybody, but they also are fully capable of mailing it in and losing to Minnesota. Tough stretch coming up with the Spurs twice this week, plus the Rockets and Thunder on the road to start next week.

source:  5. Spurs (17-7, LW 2). That loss to the Lakers was the kind of game which leads to the :45 second, angry Gregg Popovich press conference. What should make him feel better — not happy, Popovich is never happy — is the return of Tiago Splitter to the lineup. Splitter even started on Sunday night. That should improve their defense.

source:  6. Clippers (16-7, LW 5). Doc Rivers said the key to Chris Paul’s improved shooting this season is he is taking the first good, open look he gets. “That’s what we need him to do, take the open shot. I jokingly tell him, the option you are looking for is you. When you’re coming wide open off the pick and roll, he’ll do it tonight at least once or twice, he’ll look around and I’ll be ‘what is the better option than right now.’ And he’s doing it.”

source:  7. Mavericks (17-8, LW 7). They are 0-6 vs. Western Conference playoff teams and 17-2 vs. everyone else. That can’t make Mark Cuban comfortable. Chandler Parsons isn’t comfortable due to lower back soreness, he missed one game and could miss more.

source:  8. Cavaliers (13-9 LW 8). Has LeBron James lost some bounce this season? Probably, he’s not as aggressive going to the rim. But his playmaking skills and his desire to use them with his new teammates is part of the reason he’s not attacking as much. Also, there’s just not the space in the Cavs offense yet that there was in Miami.

source:  9. Raptors (18-6, LW 7). Kyle Lowry must make the All-Star team in the East. I know the point guard spot is loaded (Irving, Rose, Wall) but Lowry is simply playing too well (PER of 23.2, as a snapshot) to be ignored.

source:  10. Bulls (15-8, LW 12). Derrick Rose is getting his points a little differently (that floater is a weapon) but he’s starting to get them again and that’s good news in Chicago. The best sign of a title contender is a top 5 offense and defense (in terms of efficiency), the Bulls have that.

source:  11. Wizards (17-6, LW 11). Quality win over the Clippers last week, showing on the right night this team can beat anyone. Consistency is always the question, they had down games against Boston and Orlando. Still, they won those two and eight of their last nine.

source:  12. Hawks (16-7, LW 10). It wasn’t pretty when their winning streak was snapped by the Magic. The Hawks have played the easiest schedule in the NBA so far but that is about to change: Bulls, Cavaliers (twice), Rockets, Mavericks, Clippers, and Bucks (twice) make up the next eight games.

source:  13. Thunder (11-13, LW 18). Winners of five in a row and eight of nine, they could be the eight seed inside a week as after the top seven in the West things have fallen off. On Tuesday Kevin Durant should get to 15,000 points in his career, second youngest to do it behind LeBron.

source:  14. Bucks (12-12, LW 15). Maybe the most entertaining team in the league and also one of its biggest surprises at .500 and in the playoffs in the East. What’s been impressive is the quality play Jason Kidd is getting out of his bench, which is not flush with big names.

source:  15. Pelicans (11-12, LW 16). They got great guard play Sunday night from Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans but this team needs Anthony Davis back in the lineup (chest contusion) if they are going to start winning more consistently.

source:  16. Kings (11-13, LW 14). Ownership wants to play faster (more Spurs-like) and Tyrone Corbin is going to oblige now that Mike Malone has been fired. One problem: This roster really isn’t built to play faster or move the ball like the Spurs. DeMarcus Cousins is a halfcourt guy (Team USA tried to get him to run more with limited success) but at least he can pass, their starting two guard doesn’t have the handles or the passing skills, Rudy Gay’s legs aren’t as young as they once were and he’s a volume scorer, and there’s just not enough overall athleticism. We’ll see how this strategy goes.

source:  17. Suns (12-13, LW 13). P.J. Tucker was given some starts for defensive reasons and nightly he gets the toughest opponent assignments — he had DeMarcus Cousins against the Kings, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin against the Clippers. That’s versatility. His defense hasn’t helped much as they have lost five in a row and are falling fast down the Western Conference standings.

source:  18. Nuggets (10-14, LW 17). JaVale McGee is going to be out for months, just another of the guys they would normally have in their rotation who are banged up (that’s five now). This team is still dangerous, however. Just ask the Raptors.

source:  19. Nets (10-12, LW 21). They have been beating up lottery bound teams but are struggling with any team looking like a playoff squad. Which could be trouble this week against Miami, Toronto and Cleveland.

source:  20. Heat (11-13, LW 19). Josh McRoberts is out for a while and that is a blow to Miami on both ends of the floor — the team’s defense has struggled all season but the offense has become disjointed in recent weeks. Chris Bosh missing time doesn’t help.

source:  21. Magic (10-16, LW 23). There are a number of holes in Tobias Harris’ game, but if you need a game-winning play he should be in your top 10 because the guy just gets buckets in the clutch. The Hawks learned that the hard way.

source:  22. Lakers (8-16, LW 24). They get to keep their first round pick in the next draft if it is top five, they keep their second round pick if it is in the first 10 of the second round. The Lakers picked up a trio of nice wins this week — including an upset of the Spurs — and currently they sit tied for eighth worst record. Magic isn’t only Lakers fan rooting for losses.

source:  23. Celtics (7-14, LW 20). Rajon Rondo is dropping triple-doubles (three this season) but has been sat at the end of games as well. All of that has to be viewed through the prism of free agency/trades — do the Celtics need to move him so they don’t get nothing when he walks?

source:  24. Pacers (7-17, LW 23). They have Roy Hibbert and David West back in the lineup but it hasn’t mattered against a string of tough competition. The Pacers have lost eight in a row and are about to face a series of games against the deeper West, much of it on the road.

source:  25. Hornets (6-17, LW 25). Jeff Taylor can come back from his suspension due to domestic violence this week, which could make it easier on Charlotte if they can find someone to take on Lance Stephenson. Also, more Michael Kidd-Gilchrist please.

source:  26. Timberwolves (5-18, LW 26). Kobe Bryant said he saw himself 17 years ago in Andrew Wiggins. That’s high praise. But what Kobe came in the league with was a chip on his shoulder, a crazy work ethic, and a drive to prove himself every night. Does Wiggins?

source:  27. Jazz (6-17, LW 27). If you’re a Jazz fan your hope stems from the flashes you see from this team, like the win over San Antonio. They have moments but like a lot of young teams they simply are not consistent. Yet.

source:  28. Pistons (5-19, LW 29). Surprising wins over Phoenix and Sacramento on the road to end their losing streak. Now they have Jodie Meeks back in the rotation and once he shakes the rust off he will really help their outside shooting and spacing. Things they desperately need.

source:  29. Knicks (5-21, LW 28). With the New York media feeding a storm around this team — “they don’t like each other or the triangle” — they snapped their 10-game losing streak. But next week will be rough with Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix and Toronto.

source:  30. 76ers (2-21, LW 30). They are playing hard — they were up 18 on Memphis in the fourth — but are learning the hard way about closing out victories. Right now it’s about seeing what players can be part of the future, and K.J. McDaniels and Robert Covington can be.

Rudy Gay on Kendrick Perkins: “He’s a clown to me”

Rudy Gay

Kendrick Perkins doesn’t have a lot of friends in the NBA who aren’t his teammates or Rajon Rondo, and Rudy Gay is no different. Earlier this year, Perkins said that despite their hot start, Gay’s team was “still the Sacramento Kings.” Gay didn’t take kindly to this when asked about it, and let his feelings about Perkins be known.

This is a common sentiment among opposing players. Perkins’ Thunder teammates love him—just check Kevin Durant’s tearful praise in his MVP speech last season—but opposing players don’t like the hard screens he sets and recognize his inability to do basically anything else on the basketball court.

The Kings play the Thunder on Tuesday.


Rajon Rondo floors Lance Stephenson with elbow, says he didn’t know he was that strong (video)

Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics

Rajon Rondo floored Lance Stephenson with a pretty deliberate-looking elbow, and Stephenson apparently responded – unfortunately, off the CSN feed – with “a subtle punch to the face.”

Stephenson’s Hornets won the game, but Rondo wasn’t done.

Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe:

Is Rondo implying Stephenson flopped? Well, I never.

Executives say Sixers have brighter future than Knicks

Toronto Raptors v New York Knicks

It’s rough for the Knicks right now. They have lost nine in a row and 18 of 20. Players are infighting — Carmelo Anthony reportedly threatened to punch Tim Hardaway Jr. — and apparently none of them like the triangle offense. Derek Fisher is fumbling around as first year coaches often do. Phil Jackson said the players are resisting the culture change needed in the organization. On top of all that it appears ‘Melo’s knee could need surgery.

What could be worse?

How about hearing most executives around the league would rather be in the Sixers’ shoes long term than the Knicks?

That’s what a couple front office people told Adam Zagoria of The Knicks Blog.

“If [Joel] Embiid is [Hakeem] Olajuwon instead of [Greg] Oden, the answer is Philly,” one NBA executive told SNY.tv and The Knicks Blog. “The Knicks have one first-round pick in the next two years, zero second-round picks and zero worthwhile International rights guys. Philly has two first-round picks this year, four second-round picks in the next two and the rights to [Dario] Saric and [Vasilije] Micic. Melo is better than any current 76er but Philly has a far better coach and more talented young players.”

A former NBA GM chimed in with similar thoughts on who has a brighter future.

“The Sixers, long term,” he said. “They have young talent and multiple draft picks.”

The Sixers have been naked and unabashed in their “going bad to get good” plan, to the chagrin of other owners. The thing is, it might work. We’ll have to see how the players they have and will draft pan out — how good is Joel Embiid going to be? Nerlens Noel? Michael Carter-Williams? And on down the line, like can they keep K.J. McDaniels as a role player?

The Knicks have Anthony, Hardaway and… free agents they hope to land. They, like the Lakers, are taking the Adam Dunn/Jim Thome/Reggie Jackson approach at the plate and swinging for the fences with every free agent out there this summer — Marc Gasol, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo and on down the line. New York has the lure of the Knicks brand, of Madison Square Garden, of the city of New York, and of Phil Jackson running the show.

It’s almost certainly going to be another strikeout this summer. Love isn’t stupid, he’s staying put with LeBron. Gasol would be a perfect triangle big man but he’s in a good spot with a team and city he likes in Memphis and isn’t expected to move on. Same with Aldridge in Portland. As for Rondo, go look at the history of point guards who can’t shoot in the triangle offense and tell me why he’d want to go there. The Knicks challenge is players are forcing their way to be with other players — Love is the prime example — and right now the Knicks don’t really have a good way to get those first young players to start the trend.

The Sixers… they may already have those guys. Come 2018 we may all think Sam Hinkie is brilliant.

And who knows what Knicks fans will think of Phil Jackson then.