Your Morning Dump… where Danny loves the Bradley-Rondo backcourt | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Your Morning Dump… where Danny loves the Bradley-Rondo backcourt

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Floated that scenario [about trading Rondo] during a call to Boston sports radio WBZ-FM (98.5 the SportsHub), Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge brushed off the suggestion while stressing how much the team likes the Rondo-Avery Bradley backcourt combination moving forward.

“I don’t know what you’re insinuating because Avery is not Rondo and Avery can also play 2 guard with Rondo and those guys have been extremely effective together,” Ainge said. “I know that we haven’t had them together much this year and I think that Rajon loves playing with Avery Bradley for a lot of different reasons. I think that combination last year proved to be spectacular, they just didn’t get a chance to get together much this year, so it’s a little bit unfair.”

[…] Later, Ainge was asked more directly if he’d ponder trading Rondo or Bradley in the offseason given the way his team has performed.

“I can’t envision any scenario, no,” Ainge said. “I love those guys, where Rondo is right in the prime of his career, and Avery’s not even there yet, he’s continuing to get better. I think they are a great guard combination and to ever consider doing something like that, it would have to be something significant.”

ESPN Boston:  Ainge on future backcourt, Green, KG

Classic Danny.

“I’d never trade those guys…. unless…..”

Once again the question comes up as the Celtics roll along, tied for 6th in the East (a half game out of 5th, and 2.5 out of 4th).  And once again, it’s never as easy as it seems.

The Rondo/Bradley backcourt, as is explained later in that ESPN Boston link, was dominant last season.  That, of course, starts with Bradley’s on-ball defense and is bolstered by Rondo’s ability to read the other team and dive into passing lanes.

This year, the numbers weren’t as great, which was fueled by a few different factors.  First, Bradley was coming off of double shoulder surgery, and he wasn’t 100% (some guys recently said they still don’t think he’s 100%).  Secondly, Rondo was having perhaps the worst defensive season of his career.  That was a bad combination.

Still, we saw in the Heat game what a problem a lack of a true point guard can be.  The stretch run when Miami clamped down on D begged for a penetrator/distributor to get better shots for the team.  So going forward with Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley in the back court could be problematic… something that we might find out the hard way in the playoffs.  Which brings us to the question Danny was asked…

Ainge has been pretty clear about his willingness to trade anyone in the right scenario.  So it’s possible one or both of those guys could be gone.  But Danny’s “right price” is pretty high.  You saw last month that Danny wanted a lot more than teams would give for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.  We also heard the rumors that a Rondo trade would have had to bring back a Dwight Howard-type star.  If that’s what Danny’s looking for moving forward, then we can expect Rondo to stick around for a while.

And, as with any trade talk, you have to take salaries into account.  Salaries will very likely have to match (unless they deal with an under-the-cap team). Rajon Rondo is due $11,954,545 next season and $12,909,091 2014/’15 while Bradley is due $2,511,432 and a $3,581,302 qualifying offer in ’14/’15.  So you can’t send Rondo out for a max guy next year unless other people are involved.  That hinders the process.  And when you consider Bradley’s salary and value to the team, there’s no way they can find a player of his impact that’s in the $3 million or less range.  That combination makes him un-tradeable. 

I believe when Danny says it would have to be significant to move Rondo or Bradley.  I don’t know how realistic moves like that are when you take everything into account.  Maybe in a couple of years, things will be different.  The Celtics will have to deal with restricted FA offers for Bradley and we don’t know how much he’ll be worth after another full (and hopefully healthy) season.  Rondo’s up after ’14/’15 and, I’m betting, he’ll be asking for a max contract.

Will he be worth it?  Not if the next two seasons are a mirror image of this past one.  Then he’s just like his BFF Josh Smith.  But if he takes the steps he’s capable of, he’ll make Danny think hard about making Rondo a Celtic, potentially, for life.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Run, run, run | Doc said Terry made right play vs James | Globe – Easier being Green | Ainge: Unfair to call Green next Pierce | Herald – Turning on the Heat | CSNNE – C’s need to run to win in playoffs | Hornets preview – Winning on road | Miami games affirmation for Celtics | WEEI – Doc doesn’t second guess Pierce | Wade – There’s dislike among Heat, Cs

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  • CoachBo

    Naturally, the Rondophiles will seize that interview as proof that the player they love more than the franchise isn’t going anywhere.

    Which, of course, it isn’t.

    If Ainge isn’t smart enough to see the impact of Rondo’s absence, and the potential deals out there that could bridge the transition away from the Big 3 era, then this franchise – and its wrong-headed Rondo worshippers – are going to deserve the next decade in the NBA desert.

    • Reggie35RIP

      So we’re just going to throw KG and PP’s salaries into the wind when they retire? Granted we don’t know when this will happen, but whether they get traded/leave through free agency or retire, that’s going to be a decent chunk of change to get some good players around our young core.

  • eddysamson

    Man as much as its true Rondo+Bradley can be really good, I’ve been really really liking the pitbull combo lately. I mean sure it doesnt feature a true PG, but without a true center its really the entire reason our defense has turned into one of the best in the league.

  • LA Flake

    It’s a double edged sword. Rondo’s presence would mitigate some of our problems taking care of the ball even though he was turning the ball over a lot this year. And I suppose he could get us better shots. BUT. Would something like AB knocking down a huge 3 to put us up by 2 with a minute to go happen if Rondo’s on the floor? Who sits at the end of games just so Rondo can play, Terry? But we need him for spacing and clutch shooting, no? Do we play Rondo, AB and Terry together? What about Green’s explosion? Would Rondo have given the ball to Green all night long or would Bass have been more predominantly involved? Green drove all night. Bass is a jump shooter whose game compliments Rondo better in half court. And would we have jumped on the Heat with everyone from Green to CLee contributing if Rondo was dominating the ball? We were a couple of breaks from beating the Heat and yet still really should’ve won the game had the refs not missed what turned out to be a horrible non goaltending call. And last but not least, I’d rather have AB and Lee hounding Miami’s backcourt than AB & Rondo. All day and all night long. And especially when we don’t have KG to erase Rondo’s mistakes.

    • They lost the game because of TO’s…Miami scored about 24 points off their TO’s alone and some of those were caused by them just inbounding the ball or bringing it up court. They also settled for jumpers too much in the 4th qtr (especially while Jeff was on the bench) instead of driving. As much as we want to blame the refs, it’s not entirely their fault, the C’s gave this game to Miami. They slowed their pace down which fed right into Miami, especially in the half court. They either rushed a shot or was trying to get a shot off late into the clock.

      • LA Flake

        I agree that they gave the game away and that our TOs were horrible. But the refs did slow the game down in the second quarter when we were on a tear with 4-5 consecutive calls against us that were questionable at best. That allowed Miami to collect themselves and claw their way back. I hate blaming the refs but it’s impossible not to blame the refs when timing of their questionable calls were pretty much ALL in favor of the Heat. It’s not just us. The Heat get this very favorable treatment against everybody and I haven’t seen a ref outside of that bald angry guy who once tossed Tim Duncan for smiling on the bench. And yes. They did settle for jumpers too much. But that’s been us for the past six years. Rondo would’ve made no difference in that department.

        • The refs are always questionable and that’s something that they can’t control, they already have to play an almost flawless game against the Heat and they can’t kill themselves with avoidable mistakes. With that being said, the C’s match up well with them and can definitely challenge them in a series.

  • Coachbo, I am not a rondo worshiper, maybe one of his biggest detracters but I have to give him credit fro improving in areas he has needed to improve each season. He does have the smarts to look at his season, at his poor defensive play and ball dominance and see how the team has played without him and come back and correct those flaws. If he combines getting the ball moving instead of dribbling with defensive pressure he can combine with Bradley to form the best bc in the leg. He is without doubt our best penetrator, our best ball handler and our best speed guy. He CAN play defense he hasn’t chosen too this yeart and he has improved his shooting to become one of the highest percentage shooters in the NBA. Frankly, if by some miracle Rondo and sullinger returned for the playoffs i would expect them to beat the Heat. Without them, going to be hard in a 7 game series. Puts a lot of pressure on Green and KG.

    • LA Flake

      FG% is a strange girl in that even if Rondo’s midrange shooting % might have gone waaaaaaay up, I’d still take Bradley and Courtney Lee’s shot over Rondo’s any day of the week. And if I were guarding those three, I’d guard the Pit Bulls and leave Rondo open and force him to beat me with his shaky jumper. And that’s exactly how 29 other teams in the league have been guarding us. Just look at our spacing now. There’s no way Jeff Green would’ve been able to drive on the Heat over and over had Rondo been on the floor.

      I’m sure Rondo will come back and play smarter and harder next year. But his inability to shoot, or his lack of a reliable jumper, will mean he will not mesh well with our current style of play. So unless Ainge can score a beast down low this summer to help Rondo out, he will struggle.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Ainge will always praise any Celtic…right up to the moment he trades him.

    Ainge is not blind…the team`s performance over past 23 games has clearly shown that Rondo {as good as he is} is NOT a critical component to the Celtic W-L record. Instead of being indispensable…he is very expendable. RR needs to be traded for something they desperately need…a rebounding beast.

    Besides, a RR/AB backcourt is dangerously short. Team AB up with a bigger backcourt partner.

  • Celtics obviously needs rondo, he gets the easiest points in the team.

    Celtics should keep the ball movement next season, and Rondo needs to emphasize on his scoring, id settle for him doing 20 and 8 a game. though he could probably do better than that.

    They need to move away from Bass, Do every thing to get away from him lmao One of the biggest reasons why Celtics are stuck. Rondo even averages more rebounds than this guy, Bass has become the celtics identity, small and unable to rebound