While there has been talk around the NBA from several scouts that the
Celtics have been shopping guard Rajon Rondo, he isn't expected to be
dealt. While unlikely, one Eastern Conference executive said the latest
trade rumor included Rondo and forward Brian Scalabrine going to
Memphis for guard Mike Conley and swingman Rudy Gay. On the flip side,
one NBA GM said that he asked Celtics president Danny Ainge about Rondo
and Ainge said he didn't want to trade him.
No way. No, no, no and no. That's my initial reaction to this rumored deal.
But for the sake of discussion, let's examine Mike Conley and Rudy Gay:
- Conley – 30 mpg, 10 ppg, 44% FG, 40% 3FG, 4 apg, 3 rpg
- Gay – 37 mpg, 18 ppg, 45% FG, 35% 3FG, 5 rpg
Conley disappointed in his rookie year, but started to show improvement last season. He's more of a shooter than play-maker type point guard. Gay is an explosive player (click here for dunk highlite reel) who will likely seek a giant contract extension. While Gay has tremendous potential, part of me thinks "Tracy McGrady."
I'm more persuaded by what several league sources told me about Doc Rivers' relationship with Rondo. They say Rivers has told them that Rondo is
"impossible to coach" and "stubborn." The worry is that if the Celtics
give him a big contract extension next year, he'll be even more
unmanageable in the future. So the Celtics are trying to trade him now,
while his trade value is high, to avoid a very difficult decision a
year from now.
The "stubborn" label is nothing new, but "impossible to coach" definitely scares me. Ford throws out some hypothetical trades, one involving the Spurs and Tony Parker.
Here are some other tidbits, courtesy of Frank Dell'Apa:
Kevin Garnett’s recovery from knee surgery will be monitored by Celtic
trainers Bryan Doo and Ed Lacerte in Malibu, Calif., Ainge said . . .
The Celtics plan to make a qualifying offer to forward Glen Davis by
Tuesday’s deadline, giving them the right to match offers he receives
as a restricted free agent. Guard Eddie House is still considering
opting out of the second year of his contract . . . Ainge did not have
a progress report on Leon Powe’s knee rehabilitation.