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Wyc Grousbeck: Rondo was a deal breaker for KG in 2007

Jay January 20, 2014 Rajon Rondo, Rumors 17 Comments

WycTimeout

Even though Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck has said himself, that they are not trading Rajon Rondo, the rumors of a Rondo trade are incessant on the internet.  They appear from all over the country and sure, why wouldn’t so many of these teams want Rondo?  Back in 2007 the owner of one team in particular, the Minnesota Timberwolves, wanted Rondo even when he was just coming off his rookie season.  Glen Taylor called Wyc Grousbeck and asked that Rondo be included in the blockbuster deal for Kevin Garnett.  Back then, Wyc knew what he had and refused to include Rondo in a trade.  For Kevin Garnett.  Think about that for a second.  Wyc was willing to blow a chance at getting KG because of a player who, at the time was not what he is now.  So I ask: if Rondo was a deal breaker for KG back then, why exactly would Wyc change his mind now when Rondo has become the player he is now?

In the summer of 2007, Wyc Grousbeck, a co-owner of the Boston Celtics, went for a quiet, solitary walk along a beach on Cape Cod. He had his cellphone, and when it rang, he was ready for the call and even readier for his response.

The caller was the Minnesota Timberwolves’ owner, Glen Taylor. He insisted that Rajon Rondo, who had just finished his first season in Boston, be a part of the deal that was being brokered to send Kevin Garnett to the Celtics. Taylor said his team desperately needed a young point guard.

Grousbeck was polite, but firm. There would be no deal if the Timberwolves did not back off their demand for Rondo. Including him was a nonstarter, the Celtics’ owner told Taylor, even in a deal for a future Hall of Famer like Garnett. Taylor eventually backed off and the teams struck the now famous deal that sent Garnett to Boston. Minnesota did end up with a young point guard — Sebastian Telfair.

New York Times – Celtics banking on Rondo, for now

This is actually not new information.  If you read Peter May’s book “Top of the World” that he wrote following the 2008 championship season, you would have known this already.  But reminding us all now seems like a good time since Rondo’s name keeps coming up.  Danny Ainge and Wyc Grousbeck themselves have constantly stated that they plan on building around Rondo.  Look, I’m not naive enough to think whatever they say is etched in stone, but there just aren’t many logical options to deal him.  He’s a guy you cash in assets for, not deal away just for the sake of dealing him.  I’m sure we’ll keep reading random stories about Rondo being rumored in deals.  And I’m sure basically every one of them are laughable.

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  • vitamin d

    Wyc is a smart man and Rondo is a boss

  • Curt Hays

    Jay. Thank you for this post. You are the man.

  • bill_nair

    I never knew about this. Interesting. If they wouldn’t include Rondo in a deal for KG than its quite evident how much theyre going to ask for Rondo. Not only is there not a package like that out there, how many teams would be willing to give up said assets and players?

    Danny just got 3 firsts and a couple solid players for his aging vets. You dont think hes going to ask for a lot more for Rondo?! IF Danny moves Rondo, he wont be looked at as a “all-star” and the value from both sides will be alot more realistic (and that could be years from now.)

  • eddysamson

    Here is one thing to consider for trading Rondo. In Rondo we have an allstar who would probably prefer to finish his career a Celtic.

    If we trade Rondo, we get an allstar (if not allstar, no trade) who would probably prefer to leave Boston when his contract is up.

  • pierce Hart

    Aww man why can’t we have a shitey owner who doesn’t have any sense and ruins our team, NYK are soooo lucky :(

  • LA Flake

    This contradicts EVERY.SINGLE.REPORT that was out there about the trade at the time. And they all went something like this: The T-Wolves were offered to take (all the others in the trade) plus Rondo or Telfair. They chose Telfair. And they chose Telfair because at the time, Telfair was rated higher than Rondo.

    Now remember, Rondo was coming off of a very mediocre rookie season in which he was basically backing up Telfair. Under Doc. And he couldn’t shoot. His value was pretty low at the time.

    What I’m saying is I find this story very difficult to believe. The entire league had pegged Rondo and Perk as the weakest link in our team after we got KG. Everyone was saying how we won’t win it all with Rondo and Perk in our lineup.

    Think about this. Danny has brought in a vet PG every single year since we got KG because they didn’t trust Rondo. Every single year. And Rondo was offered every year for other elite guards like Curry and Paul but we were turned down.

    • tvor03

      Danny brought in a veteran big each year too. I guess that means he didn’t trust KG.

    • Rich Jensen

      This is not new information. This account of the trade is almost six years old. And, in 2008, what possible gain could Grousbeck obtain by fabricating a story about Rondo? Where’s Grousbeck’s incentive to lie?

      Further, there has been only one verified trade offer for Rondo in the six years he has played for the Celtics: Rondo for Chris Paul.

      I’m tired of seeing people insist that Ainge doesn’t value Rondo. Rondo would be gone, gone, gone, if he could be had for a pile of dog crap and a serviceable PG, because every team from Portland to Miami would be willing to make that deal.

      The reason why Rondo is still on this team is because Ainge will only trade him for one of his peers, for another player who is among the 5 best at his position.

      Just about every rumored Rondo trade comes from outside Boston, and from some other fan base that–despite mounting evidence to the contrary–persists in believing that Ainge is a doofus incapable of properly evaluating his own players and extracting maximum value from them in trades.

      The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the proof of the value Grousbeck and Ainge assign Rondo is that he’s still on the team. If anything, you could accuse DA of overvaluing Rondo, not undervaluing him, but I’m not buying that argument.

      • Curt Hays

        But, but, the article on the right says, “Rajon Rondo likely to be traded”. Just because the team all drank the KG cool-aid doesn’t mean they’ll all eat the Rondo pudding.

        Solid post, Rich. :-)

        • Rich Jensen

          Rondo pudding?

          No way, man, these guys are working up a Rondo thirst:

          • Curt Hays

            HAHAHAHAHA, I’m reposting this a hundred times.

            RONDO: THE THIRST CRUSHER

      • LA Flake

        Yeah…except NOBODY will give up a top 5 pg for Rondo which is why he’s still with us. Otherwise Chris Paul or Steph Curry would be wearing green right now.

        • Rich Jensen

          By definition there are no more than five teams with ‘top five’ PGs. I consider Boston to be one of them. That leaves you with only four other teams that Ainge would entertain offers from, so let’s not try to make this “NOBODY” into anything other than four or five (if you assume Rondo is *not* a top 5 PG) other GMs that are probably, but not necessarily skilled at their jobs.

  • Frank Aziza

    I believe because Danny and Doc believed Rondo could lead the big three to a title.

  • JR99

    Your question: “if Rondo was a deal breaker for KG back then, why exactly would Wyc change his mind now…?”

    Answer:
    Because Rondo is now 28 yrs old, and will be well into his 30s by the
    time this team begins contending again. Which means Rondo’s peak years
    will come to nothing for us, in terms of championships. And, if we sell
    after Rondo proves he’s really back, maybe we can sell high and get a
    REAL GAME CHANGER in return.

    All it would take now for Rondo to
    be traded is the right offer coming in. I’m sure (as can be, anyway)
    that Wyc and DA will not hesitate…. if the deal is right.

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