Trading Rajon Rondo isn't an easy decision, but it's time for Danny Ainge to make a choice. (Getty Images)



The news is trickling out in waves now, and the latest on the possibility of the Celtics trading Rajon Rondo comes from CBSSports.com columnist Ken Berger, who reports the C’s captain is willing to re-sign with the two teams rumored to be in hottest pursuit of his services — the Mavericks and Rockets.

While Rondo expressed publicly his desire to remain in Boston following Wednesday’s game, he’s apparently reached a point privately we had not heard in years past. The writing, as they say, appears to be on the wall.

In his weekly interview with CBS Sports Radio, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge conceded there have been trade discussions with multiple teams, as there always are at this time of year — while not specifically citing the rumored Dallas and Houston interest — and didn’t exactly give his point guard a ringing endorsement when asked if the team would be all that different without Rondo.

“I don’t know,” said Ainge, stumbling for phraseology. “That’s a good question. Rajon has been a big part of our team, not just this year, but for the past years, as you know, but Rondo — because we don’t really see what Marcus Smart has been able to do yet, because he hasn’t been healthy; he’s got such a shortage of minutes and opportunities to play with the ankle sprain, so it’s a good question. I don’t think any of us know the answer to that.”

The wheels are turning, and Rondo getting out when they stop seems more likely than ever before.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

Rajon Rondo knows the deal by now.

Every year around this time, the trade rumors start swirling around the Celtics point guard, and this season is no different.

Rajon Rondo knows the deal by now.

Every year around this time, the trade rumors start swirling around the Celtics point guard, and this season is no different.

“It’s a way of life since I’ve been here,” he said after Wednesday’s win over the Magic. “It’s just part of it.”

Yahoo Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski, as he so often does, peppered Twitter with a few freshly ground spices as Rondo wrapped up another near triple-double effort: The Mavericks “are serious suitors” for Rondo’s services.

In his postgame press conference, Rondo said he had not spoken to Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge about the latest round of rumors, and then proceeded to walk out of TD Garden just as Ainge, Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren and co-owner Stephen Pagliuca were exiting the building. It might’ve been awkward had it not been a way of life.

While the Celtics seem willing to part with Rondo for the right price, Rondo reiterated publicly his desire to stay in Boston.

“How many times do you want me to say it?” he asked. “We discussed it on media day. My thoughts and my opinions as far as the organization hasn’t changed, so … I’m enjoying life. You can’t win ‘em all, but these guys are funny, I’m young and I’m doing what I love to do. It’s a dream come true. I can’t be upset about anything, really.

“I just want to be a better person each year, be a better teammate each year, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job so far, just trying to lead these young guys. I’m not that old, but they make me feel like it.”

If something seems different about the rumors this time around, Rondo is remaining as poker-faced as ever.

“It is what it is now, and everything happens for a reason,” he said. “I believe in certain timing and things happening for a reason, so I’m 28 and I’m pretty much the veteran guy on this team and that’s part of it.”

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

After putting a stop to their three-game skid in Philly, the Celtics grabbed another win at the TD Garden against the Magic on Wednesday night, 109-92 (

After putting a stop to their three-game skid in Philly, the Celtics grabbed another win at the TD Garden against the Magic on Wednesday night, 109-92 (click here for the box score). The home squad outscored Orlando 31-19 in the fourth quarter to close out the game, something the team has struggled with so far this season.

Brandon Bass led the Celtics with 18 points off the bench, while Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green each had 16 points.

Here’s five things we learned in the win:

RAJON RONDO SHOT WELL IN A NEAR TRIPLE-DOUBLE EFFORT

On a night when trade rumors surrounding Rondo came to light, the point guard came to play. Rondo shot an efficient 6-for-12 from the field en route to 13 points, 15 assists and seven rebounds. Despite six turnovers, Rondo had fantastic command of the game. For one of the first times this season, it seemed he had control over both him scoring the ball and getting his teammates involved — a great sign from Rondo.

THE BIGS GOT TO WORK EARLY

Tyler Zeller scored a quick four points for the Celtics on the first two possessions of the game, followed by nine straight Sullinger points. On the opposite side, Nikola Vucevic and Channing Frye combined for 13 of their own points, all before the halfway point of the first quarter.

After the centers scored the first 10 points of the game, Zeller put in another hoop for his sixth point of the quarter, but it was Vucevic who won the early battle. He finished the frame with 12 points and eights boards, putting on display why he is a candidate to make the All-Star team for the East.

HOT FINISH TO THE FIRST HALF

After falling down by eight points in the second quarter, 43-35, the C’s rallied back to take a lead into the locker room. Rondo and Kelly Olynyk led a 21-10 run to round out the half and get Boston a 56-53 lead. The C’s hit seven of their final 10 shots in the half to spark the run. Olynyk scored eight points in the period, while Rondo posted five points, six rebounds and four assists in just over six minutes on the floor.

THE BENCH WAS STRONG AGAIN

It wasn’t quite the 82-point performance we saw against the Wizards, but the Celtics’ bench was key in their win over the Magic. Even without the likes rookies Marcus Smart and James Young, as well as streaky bench scorer Marcus Thornton, the C’s were still able to get great contributions from the second-unit.

Four players combine for 50 points off the Boston bench: Bass (18) Olynyk (15), Phil Pressey (9) and Evan Turner (8). The foursome played well into the fourth quarter after giving the team such a great spark in the third. Pressey even played the entire fourth quarter, something very rare in Brad Stevens‘ rotation.

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE SCHEDULE 

After a brutal November where the Celtics played almost all playoff teams, the schedule appeared to ease up on the C’s in December. An unexpected three-game losing streak had it looking like things may not turn around this month, but Boston has now won two in a row. The wins have come against poor opponents (Philadelphia and Orlando), but the green will go on to face teams under .500 in their next four contests. Here’s their stretch to fight back towards .500 if they’re going to do it.

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

A major theme of the rebuilding Celtics has been that no player is safe from being traded for the betterment of the team –€“ something Danny Ainge has shown the willingness to do throughout his career. The Celtics have been one of the most active teams pursuing trades of late, according to Yahoo Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski, who also reported the C’€™s have showed “€œrenewed wiliness to trade Rajon Rondo.”€ While it’s just speculation at this point, we’ll be rolling out 10 trades that could make sense for the Celtics (in a 10-part series) — some involve moving Rondo, some building around Rondo and some just collect more assets as Ainge has been doing all along. Again, these specific trades are not rumors, simply ideas. This is Part 1.

With the Rondo news breaking Wednesday night — along with word Boston would prefer to send him West — let’s start this series on that theme. The Kings were a team we know had interest in Rondo, but talks in the past have fallen apart. Here’s a new proposal:

KINGS GET: Rajon Rondo

CELTICS GET: Ben McLemore, Nik Stauskas, Derrick Williams and a 2017 first-round pick

Ainge would likely demand Sacramento include a first-round pick as well, but the problem is the Kings can’t offer one until 2017. Rondo’s value certainly is not at it’s peak right now, so a package like this could realistically be one of the best Ainge sees.

Before shaking your head at the move, remember all three of the players the C’s would be getting in return are top-eight picks in the draft (Williams No. 2 in 2011, McLemore No. 7 in 2013 and Stauskas No. 8 in 2014). Although it is probably time to put the “bust” label on Williams, his $6.3 million would come off the books at the end of the season.

What the Celtics really get in return is two young, promising wing prospects in McLemore and Stauskas. McLemore is averaging 11.6 points in his second year in the league since departing Kansas following his freshman campaign. Stauskas is averaging just 3.6 points so far in his rookie season, but is doing so while playing only 14 minutes per game.

Stauskas was labeled as one of the best shooters in this past draft when he left Michigan as a sophomore. It’s still very early in his career, but if he were to improve, Boston could get a much needed shooter in the young Stauskas. McLemore is a good shooter in his own right, but also has the all-around potential to be a great scorer from all areas of the court. He was selected in a weak draft class, but many had him penciled in as the No.1 overall selection at the time.

The trade would likely hinge on Sacramento’s willingness to include a future first-rounder — something Ainge presumably will require no matter how many prospects he is receiving in exchange for his point guard. The Kings would then have their own Big Three of sorts, built around Rondo, Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins. Boston would get their wish of keeping Rondo out of the East, while adding three quality assets including the draft pick. A move like this would undoubtably put C’s rebuild in full tilt.

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

It was bound to come sooner or later, and sure enough, just days after free agents signed over the summer became eligible to be traded, Celtics point guard

It was bound to come sooner or later, and sure enough, just days after free agents signed over the summer became eligible to be traded, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is reportedly on the market.

Talks of a trade involving Rondo have increased in recent days, according to Yahoo Sports columnists Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears. To the surprise of nobody, Celtics president Danny Ainge is holding out for a hefty return, preferably from a Western Conference foe.

The Celtics are exhibiting a renewed willingness to pursue trade packages that include point guard Rajon Rondo, league sources told 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 ‘€œserious’€ in recent days, but no trade agreement is imminent.

We’ve been following the Celtics captain’s trade value in our weekly Rajon Rondo Trade Barometer series.

Blog Author: 
WEEI