Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ainge Downplays Trade Talks

Photo: Getty Images
Rajon Rondo trade talks have been on over-drive all day today. Of course it had to be brought up this morning on Danny Ainge's weekly interview with a Boston sports radio station. The Celtics president of basketball operation was asked what he thought about reports that his captain was being shopped, and teams like the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets are seriously interested in acquiring the point guard.

"From the middle of December to the middle of February, there's a lot of discussion between teams," Ainge said. "Yeah we're having a lot of discussions like we do every year." [CBS Sports]

Rumors ran last night off of several reports that Dallas had contacted Boston about a possible Rondo trade. Since then the list has grown, and Ainge apparently has fielded phone calls from the Knicks, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

News broke late this morning that according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, he reported that Rondo would be 'open' to re-signing long-term with both the Mavs and the Rockets. However the Lakers own a top-5 protected draft pick that could entice the Celtics. Plus the expiring contract of veteran point guard Steve Nash will keep Boston's payroll low, and could be flipped in another potential deal in the future. It would be tough to persuade Rondo to stay in L.A. with good friend Kobe Bryant, the two were spotted having breakfast when the Lakers were in town just over a week ago playing against the Celtics.

Rondo maintains he enjoys being in Boston, and wants to be apart of the future with the team, but has stated he will test free-agency once July comes around. Ainge also has been on record that he would like to re-sign Rondo for the future. It remains to be seen what could happen if Ainge risks losing on getting back any assets if his all-star decides to walk at the end of the season.

According to ESPN's Marc Stein Dallas and Houston both have championship aspirations and some pieces that could make a deal work. The Mavericks are willing to offer, big man Brandan Wright, some other players that would make sense salary wise, and at least one first-round draft pick. The Rockets have an $8.4 million trade exception from the Jeremy Lin trade to LA last July that can be used.

No word yet on what other possible destinations for Rondo like Indiana or Sacramento have offered or will offer. Be on the look out for more reports of trade rumors for the next two-months, especially if Ainge doesn't decide to ship any of his players out of town before the deadline.

Joel Pavón

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