All reports regarding a team’s trade intentions at this time of year should be read very carefully until any deal is actually completed.
But this one regarding what the Celtics are planning to do with Rajon Rondo as Thursday’s deadline approches seems as close as we can get to a true assurance.
From Sam Amick of USA Today:
[A]ccording to Rondo’s agent, Bill Duffy, Ainge said on Wednesday that Rondo will not be traded.
“He was emphatic that they would not trade Rajon Rondo,” Duffy told USA TODAY Sports. “He said, ‘We love him, and he’s our guy moving forward.’ Everybody is trade-able, and there’s always a bunch of dialogue with every player in the league who doesn’t have a no-trade clause, or LeBron James and a few other guys. In this particular case, Danny Ainge was emphatic that ‘we are not trading Rajon Rondo.'”
Ainge also said on Tuesday that the Celtics aren’t in the market for a major deal.
Rondo is out for the season with a torn ACL, and while he’s expected back at or near the start of next season, there’s always a bit of a risk involved in trading for a player that is coming off of a major injury.
In Rondo’s case, the Celtics know they have one of the top point guards in the league when he’s healthy, and are going to demand players in return that would match or exceed that level of talent.
A report from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com gives an idea of what that might look like.
I’m told the “right deal” for Rondo would be: Dwight Howard, Chris Paul or a massive haul of assets like Denver got for Melo. Not happening.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 20, 2013
Chris Paul is better than Rondo by most people’s estimation, especially those living outside of the greater Boston area. The Clippers, meanwhile, are considered to be contenders in the West who would only make a deal involving a bench player (like Eric Bledsoe) in order to solidify the team’s chances at a title this season.
As for the “massive haul of assets,” that’s not likely either, based on Rondo’s injury situation that we previously mentioned.
All of this is to say that this report is about as solid as they get a little more than 24 hours from the trade deadline. Rondo is not getting traded, and will still be on the Celtics roster as of 12:01 p.m. ET on Thursday.