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.
However, a source with direct knowledge of the situation has informed Basketball Insiders that the Celtics have demonstrated little activity as it relates to potentially moving Rondo at the deadline. The team has stopped short of giving Rondo a no-trade guarantee, but has made it clear it would take a substantial offer for the team to deal away its floor general.
According to the source, the New York Knicks have been the team with the strongest interest in potentially acquiring Rondo from the Celtics as the deadline nears. The Knicks’ interest should come as no surprise as the team has endured their own struggles at point guard with the trio of Raymond Felton, Beno Udrih and Pablo Prigioni underachieving. However, the Celtics have no interest in the Knicks’ current assets at the moment.
Rondo has appeared in six contests since returning from injury and is still attempting to regain his form posting averages of 6.7 points and 5.7 assists on just 28 percent shooting from the floor.
File under: information educated fans already know but the Boston sports talk show community continues to ignore.
According to a Hoopsworld analysis, Rajon Rondo leads all players in “trade rumor reports.” He was mentioned in some 15 rumors over the past two weeks. The analysis doesn’t detail the source of the reports, but I have yet to hear a trade rumor involving Rondo that doesn’t make me laugh aloud.
On Page 2, Brad Stevens wants more from Jared Sullinger.
With Boston mired in an extended losing funk, Stevens asked Sullinger to take his game to a higher level and cement himself as a leader of a Celtics team that isn’t afraid to lean on him despite his age.
The 21-year-old Sullinger responded by putting up game highs with 24 points and 17 rebounds, but he could only watch as Evan Turner’s contorted floater at the buzzer lifted the Philadelphia 76ers to a 95-94 triumph Wednesday night at TD Garden.
Playing out of position given the Celtics’ absence of a pure center, Sullinger is averaging 12.8 points and 7.8 rebounds over 26.6 minutes per game. With the team’s struggles, he is the only regular that remains in the positive in plus/minus at plus-7. It’s a staggering stat considering that Boston is minus-206 as a team and the other most frequent frontcourt starter, Brandon Bass, is minus-240 for the season.
What’s more, Sullinger is playing with both a bruised hand and a dislocated index finger on his shooting hand — an injury that popped out of place again during Wednesday’s loss.
I’m getting attached to this kid’s game and effort. It would be a shame to lose him in a mega-deal for (insert super-star’s name here).
Rondo, Sullinger and Jabari Parker would be a helluva core to lead the next era of Celtics greatness.
And finally… the Celtics hit the Atlantic Division basement
“If you have animals, go home and hang out with them,” said Kris Humphries. “Focus on your hobby.”
But with a three-day gap between last night’s 95-94 loss to Philadelphia and Sunday’s game against Orlando, the Celtics are destined for some quality time with each other.
The Celtics, losers of 19 of their last 22 games, need something other than the assurance of a good lottery position for their fading spirit.
Evan Turner’s 7-foot pull-up at the buzzer produced the win for the Sixers, the team the C’s are battling to stay out of the Atlantic Division basement.
The Celtics, at 15-33, have replaced the equally moribund Sixers at the bottom of the worst division in the NBA.
And the implications of the game couldn’t have been more obvious if they streamed ping-pong balls on the Garden Jumbotron.
Embrace it people.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Nowhere to go but up | Sullinger, Olynky in Rising Stars game | Globe – Celtics lose to 76ers on buzzer beater | Celtics/Philly rivalry not what it used to be | Herald – Fatal edge gets closer for Celtics | CSNNE – History of the commish vs Boston | Successful homecoming for 76ers Carter-Williams | Hump: If you have animals, go home and hang out with them |