Off the record, we have several sources telling
us that Ray Allen is, indeed, on the block. It's easy to make the leap,
as the Celtics have managed to develop some nice young talent around
their Big Three while also managing to win a championship. They might
have even repeated had Kevin Garnett been healthy. It's not a stretch
to say the Celtics would part with Allen, who has an ending contract
next season, if they could add another top young player to the mix.
On the record we have an added wrinkle
- one that we thought to be highly unlikely until we found it reported
with a quote attributed to Celtics GM Danny Ainge. It seems the Celtics
are willing to package Rajon Rondo with Allen to make the right deal
Let's address the trade speculation first, and then we'll get to that Ainge quote and HoopsWorld's shady reporting.
We all understand why Ray is trade bait; he's got an expiring contract and he's 33 years old.
But Rondo? He's a superstar in the making. Have we already forgotten the 19 ppg, 11 apg and 9 rpg he averaged in the Bulls series? He's made tremendous strides in the last two seasons and is still just 23-years-old.
I've come up with two potential reasons why the Celtics would trade Rondo:
- He has a crappy attitude
- He wants max money
The HoopsWorld article expounds on Rondo's attitude. In fact, they use it as support for the trade rumor:
"He's stubborn," Ainge told ESPN's Jackie MacMullen.
"He doesn't always take direction well. He's very bright and knows what
he needs to do to be successful. But sometimes he doesn't understand
what the team needs to be successful."
Doc Rivers expressed similar sentiments, which he directed at Rondo himself earlier this season.
"Do you know your teammates hate playing with
you? … The point guard has to be the guy that brings energy to the
team. You can't be the guy that sucks it away. Your moodiness is
affecting us. Change it."
This is a big stretch in my opinion. First of all, Ainge's quote is part of an article praising Rondo as the new team leader. And I've listened to Ainge many times on WEEI throughout the season and he repeatedly heaps praise upon Rondo. To take one quote and assume that is a team's position on a player is flat out wrong and irresponsible.
As for the Doc quotes, just because a coach is hard on a player, doesn't mean that player is being traded. I could dig up some of Doc's criticism of Paul Pierce and attach it to a trade rumor. Will that validate the rumor? No.
Update: An unnamed Celtics official tells Sam Amico (who?) of ProBasketballNews.com (what?) that the team is not longer to trade Rondo and there's been minor discussion about Ray Allen.
(Thanks to ToTheRuins for the link)