Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers just wrapped up their first news conference of the upcoming season, and the big topic, of course, was all the trade rumors swirling around the team right away. The highlights:
- When asked "are you actively trying to trade Rajon Rondo?" Danny replied "I'm not."
- Danny called his core group of players ("Four All Stars" when asked to clarify who his core is) "special." When asked a follow up about potentially trading any of them, he said he does not anticipate trading any of them this season.
- Regarding the rumors, Danny said if you're worth your salt at all, you'll be mentioned in trade rumors at some point. Trade rumors are part of the world we live in. He also said "I don't know how these rumors got out. We didn't leak them."
- Regarding Rondo's feelings, Doc said "he should be flattered in a lot of ways that this is news." Danny added that he isn't worried about Rondo's feelings being hurt because of rumors, but he'll talk to Rondo.
The overwhelming message here is one that we've already heard: Danny Ainge is not initiating talks regarding Rajon Rondo. The characterization to the contrary that has emerged from these rumors is wrong and, frankly, lazy and presumptuous. Of course, those making that assumption will look at me and call me naive.
Danny Ainge did say that his job is to listen when other teams call and gauge the value of his players. He'll always take the call… and that means there's always a possibility that someone will get moved. So don't expect the rumors to die completely. But Ainge did flat out deny any active shopping of Rajon Rondo.
Other notes: The Celtics have contacted Glen Davis' representatives, so they have expressed an interest in bringing him back. The same with Jeff Green. Ainge said flat out "we'd like to have Jeff Green back." As for any free-agent signings, Danny says the team has to be patient. There are a lot of teams with cap space and a lot of guys looking for a pay day. He expects the Celtics to be stuck with the $3 million MLE, not the $5 million exception, so it's going to be tough. He also said flat-out that the Celtics will not use their amnesty clause this season. Keep that one tucked in the back of your mind for next year.
Also, remember the "stretch exception" exists for any new contracts signed in this CBA. That includes Davis and Green. So any concerns that Big Baby will get a contract and coast can be put to rest because the Celtics have two weapons at their disposal to get out of a contract he signs.
We're on our way, folks. Players can start using the practice facility today so stay tuned, we may get some comments from those guys later.