Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, in an interview on the Dennis & Callahan Show on Tuesday morning, said that while the Celtics have discussed the possibility of trading point guard Rajon Rondo several times, the team would only consider dealing him at this point for a "franchise-type" player. Whereas GM Danny Ainge and Celtics brass once considered banishing Rondo because of his fit on the team, Wojnarowski said that is no longer the case.
"For all the talks he has been in, and he has been in a lot of talks, I don't think Danny Ainge is ever going to trade him unless they got back a superstar. I think that was their goal. Because of his contract, because he's young, he's the one piece they have that has appeal to teams," said Wojnarowski. "Over two years ago, they put him out there when he was really having some issues getting along with teammates, being coachable. They dangled him to Detroit. They dangled him to Memphis. I think they were trying to put a little scare in him, saying, 'You don't think you're getting enough credit around here? You think you have it so bad? How'd you like to play in those places and play with those lottery teams?'
"Right now, when they put him out there, it was for a chance to get back a franchise-type player," he continued. "He impacts the game all over the court. It's easy to forget, then you see the type of game that he has opening day against the Knicks."
Indeed, while Wojnarowski said that the Celtics would have traded Rondo if they had been able to land Chris Paul, he also made clear that the 2010-11 All-Star is central to the fortunes of the Celtics this season.
"Rondo will be more important to this team than ever. You saw it opening night against the Knicks. He's going to have to be a dominant player for them this year," said Wojnarowski. "Last year, we saw it, especially after the Perkins trade, it never went away. He was very up and down for the rest of the season. He's got to play at a very high level all year long for this Celtics team to do anything."
Wojnarowski also touched on other topics, among them:
On where the Celtics stand in the East: "In the East, I'd probably say third right now. ... With an older team, [coach Doc Rivers has] tried to take a page out of Greg Popovich's strategy that he's had with the Spurs, which is, 'I'm just going to try to keep [Tim] Duncan and [Manu] Ginobli rested and ready for the playoffs.' But I think where Boston's going to get hurt in the playoffs, LA will get hurt in the playoffs, is you won't have the time between games in the postseason to recover that you normally have. They've compressed the playoffs also. You're not going to have two and three days between games as you've had in the past. I think even if you get to the playoffs rested, i don't think there's an advantage [compared] to the younger teams in the postseason."
On whether there are any players whom the Celtics can add: Wojnarowski cited Jeff Pryzbilla as a player who could offer the team some size, but suggested that there wasn't a clear player in the mold of Jeff Green ("An athletic, long body" to play defense against Miami) to acquire. "That kind of impact guy, or the perception of that impact guy, is probably not out there," he said.
On Kevin Garnett's dust-up with Billy Walker: Wojnarowski was surprised that Garnett wasn't fined, but did not think the fracas merited a suspension.
Dr. Tony Schena joined the show to give insight into what lies ahead for Rob Gronkowski. He said a tough road is in front of the Patriots tight end.
We discuss the improbable win over the Browns and the loss of Rob Gronkowski with Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick on Patriots Monday.
Ninkovich sits in with Mut and Merloni to look back at yesterday’s comeback win against the Browns. Rob also explains the range of emotions the team experienced after Rob Gronkowski suffered a potentially season ending injury.
Eagle checks in to give Grande and Max a perspective on the Brooklyn Nets after they acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett via trade earlier this summer. He breaks down what he thinks the future holds for the Nets after completing this blockbuster deal.
Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell take some time and look back at the history between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically the legendary rivalry between Magic and Bird. Legendary broadcaster, Ian Eagle, checks in to give the Brooklyn perspective as KG and Paul Pierce settle into their new home. Sean and Max also reveal the behind the scenes details surrounding Max’s famous “I got the ball” moment.
In the first hour of this edition of the Celtics Summer Cooler, Grande and Max analyze the trade that sent Fab Melo out of Boston. Also in this hour, Max sets the story straight about his history with Larry Bird.
It's a baseball round table from the winter meetings in Orlando, Rob Bradford talks with Ian Browne, Scott Lauber, Tim Britton, and Jason Mastrodonato.
Buster joins Mut and Merloni live at the Winter Meetings in Orlando. Buster explains that the market for Stephen Drew has cooled off considerably and executives around the league believe he will return to Boston.
Hazen talks with Mut and Merloni about the on-going offseason process. Mike explains how the Red Sox dove in to free agency immediately after the team’s World Series win. He also explains how the team creates opportunities for young players that are ready to make the jump to the Major League level.
Shawn Thornton joined the show and discussed the teams long layoff leading into their game tomorrow night in Montreal. He told the guys that he anticipates fighting being a part of hockey for years to come.
Lucic joins Danny Picard to talk some hockey after the team’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Danny asks Lucic about David Krejci’s game winner yesterday and hockey outsiders that are trying to change the game.
Shawn Thornton joined the show fresh off his big night at MSG and talked about his recent goal scoring prowess. Shawn said that no matter who his line mates are he is always going to be a fourth liner.
Our favorite segment of the week, Answer the question Kirk. Today he answered how many sexual partners he has had.
Our departing producer Thom and our new producer Craig took to the scale to see who was bigger.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. Today the guys discussed the execution of Kim Jong Un's uncle in North Korea.
Jackie MacMullan joins the show to discuss the return of Doc Rivers to Boston and what really happened during the offseason that led to Doc's departure.
Brick joins Mut and Merloni to discuss Shawn Thornton's on ice actions last week against the Penguins and what type of suspension he may be facing.
Mut and Merloni react to Doc Rivers' emotional return to Boston and they discuss the way he left the Celtics.
We debate the hit, and what Shawn Thornton deserves to get and will get for a suspension from the NHL when he faces his discipline hearing on Friday for his K/O hit of the Penguins Brooks Orpik.
We check in with Jack Edwards of NESN and focus on the Bruins, and more specifically Sean Thornton's upcoming discipline hearing for his cheap-shot hit on Brooks Orpik of the Penguins.
We focus on multi-sport athletes in today's four topics at 4PM.
Ryder talks with WEEI.com's Chris Price about the Patriots upcoming game with the Cleveland Browns, and Stevan Ridley's status on the team.
Alex joins the show and gives his thoughts on the Jacoby Ellsbury deal, and what prospects the Red Sox have to fill the hole left in the lineup, or trade pieces to get a player who can fill the void.
John talks to Rob and gets his thoughts on the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox signing AJ Pierzynski, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with Miami.
No Jenny Dell today, but Mikey's back and we're answering questions bitches!
We answer what you ask... and by we mean Salk, Holley and special guest Jenny Dell of NESN!
Answering questions, its what we do.
Buster joins Mut and Merloni live at the Winter Meetings in Orlando. Buster explains that the market for Stephen Drew has cooled off considerably and executives around the league believe he will return to Boston.More from this show
We discuss the comers and goers for the Red Sox and the rest of MLB with former GM Steve Phillips, now of MLB Radio on Sirius XM.More from this show
Hazen talks with Mut and Merloni about the on-going offseason process. Mike explains how the Red Sox dove in to free agency immediately after the team’s World Series win. He also explains how the team creates opportunities for young players that are ready to make the jump to the Major League level.More from this show
Jackie MacMullan joins the show to discuss the return of Doc Rivers to Boston and what really happened during the offseason that led to Doc's departure.More from this show