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Your Morning Dump… Where the Rondo rumors have already started

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) May 5, 2014 Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, The Morning Dump 37 Comments

rondo and lin

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.

You can add the Houston Rockets to that list after they were eliminated by the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night by a 4-2 series margin. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein the Rockets will be looking to upgrade their roster this summer, and the Celtics’ point guard could be a target yet again.

It’s inevitable that Rockets general manager Daryl Morey will likewise check in with his old boss Danny Ainge in Boston — as he did before the trade deadline in February -– just to make sure Rajon Rondo isn’t suddenly available.

Boston.com:  Rockets expected to call Celtics about Rondo’s availability

Welcome to crazy season part 2.  It’s time for the standard reminder when it comes to this stuff:

1:  A team calling doesn’t NOT equal Rondo being shopped.  Everyone in the league knows the deal with Celtics players.  And that brings us to…

2:  Danny Ainge will accept all incoming calls and listen to the pitch.  That’s his job.  And he wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t take Daryl Morey’s call.  You don’t know if he’s taken too much sizzurp and is willing to make a crazy deal.

3:  Ainge taking the phone call DOES NOT MEAN PLAYERS ARE BEING SHOPPED… no matter what lazy headlines you see out there.

Rondo is the best player on the Celtics.  He’s only making $12.9 million.  Most teams will be interested in seeing what it would take to pry Rondo away.  

Remember this about Rondo, though:  He has a sort of no-trade clause… a.k.a. he just needs to say “I’m not signing an extension with you” and that will effectively kill most negotiations if they ever reach that point.

Danny Ainge always ask for a lot in trades.  He’s going to ask for the moon in a Rondo trade.  NO team is going to give up an Ainge asking price for a 1-year rental.  They need assurances that he’s going to stay.

There’s a funny wrinkle here, though, and it might just end up making Rondo un-tradeable.  For him to get the most maximum of maximum contracts, he HAS to become a free agent.  That’s the way the rules are set up.  He can sign an extension in Boston in July if he wants, but he won’t even if he’s dying to stay, because he’ll get more money if he waits to become a free agent and re-sign then.  SO… he can’t guarantee any team that he’ll re-sign long-term, because no matter where he goes, he’ll have to become a free agent to get the big-time max money.  And once you’re a free agent, you never know what will happen.

Will a team give up everything it needs to to get Rondo knowing that he will, without a doubt, become a free agent next summer?  That’s a tough sell.  I don’t know that any teams will risk pulling that trigger.

And as for the Rockets, I still don’t think they have what the C’s want or need.  Chandler Parsons & Omer Asik for Rondo aren’t going to cut it.  I don’t want Lin.  I don’t want much else from them.  I just don’t think Houston is where anything like this will get done.

Anyway, the Houston stuff aside, there’s a lot of stuff to keep in mind when it comes to Rondo.  I’m starting to think that he’s going to nix trades by refusing to commit to anything long-term, even if they get to the advanced stages of conversation…. even though I don’t even think most conversations will get that far.

Page 2:  It’s Pierce vs. LeBron… maybe for the last time

“I rank LeBron as one of the greatest players to ever play the game,” Pierce said. “A tremendous athlete, four-time MVP, two-time champion, he’s already passed so many greats that we still talk about. And when you play against the best, as a competitor, you want those moments.

“I consider myself a great competitor who wants to be in those moments, who wants to play against who people call the best,” Pierce added. “Just over the years matching up with him,Kobe BryantVince Carter, Tracy McGrady, all the guys who were in my era who were great wing men, you want those moments.”

Now Pierce and Garnett will get to add more moments to this rivalry with LeBron.

If this is the last time the pair will get to play a best-of-seven together against James, the two will want to make it a memorable one.

“What can I say? His résumé speaks for itself,” Pierce said. “Right now, he’s the best player in the league and I think as a competitor you are always looking for that challenge and he’s the ultimate challenge.”

ESPN New York:  Pierce, KG meet King James… again

In my heart, knowing that this could be the last time this ever happens, I want to see Paul and Kevin celebrate on Miami’s home floor as they head to the Conference Finals.  I want to see LeBron slumped in a chair on the sideline.  I want to hear him say the words “It’s hard to win 3 in a row.”  I want all that.

Of course, my head says the regular season matchups don’t matter as much as some people make them out to, and Miami is still the better team and will very likely move on.

I hope my head is wrong.  I’m rooting for the story here.  I want Pierce and Garnett to have one more celebration before they call it a career.

Related links:  CSNNE:  Pierce, KG have a big hand in Nets moving on

The rest of the links:

CSNNE:  Pressey already looking to improve his game  |  ESPN Boston:  Report card: The departed

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  • NE_Celt

    Awesome block by PP…I knew Lowry was going to be going to the hoop…and from all the previous times he had done it, I thought he was getting there or fouled…but PP came up BIG…KG had a solid game too…I think they are just getting warmed up. I hope they go in and smack Lebron around…make him remember just who he is dealing with!

    • bill_nair

      Felt weird rooting for a different team but I couldn’t help but be ecstatic when pierce got that block. KG looked rejuvenated too. Here’s to them taking Miami to 7.

  • Herman Bubbert

    Inclined to agree for two reasons – I’m not shot in the fanny with the Houston roster of availables, and Rondo’s not worth anything remotely close to what his apologists think he is – apparently including Ainge as one of his apologists.
    Danny’s not going to do anything before the lottery – before he sees if the first pick is a keeper or another round of trade bait.

    • bill_nair

      How’d I know we’d see a Herman post on here.

      • Herman Bubbert

        Someone’s got to keep the stupid Rondo BS in line …

    • RedsLoveChild

      At $12.9M….Rondo is already insanely overpaid.

      • Curt Hays

        You really think he’s “insanely” overpaid? I think Kris Humphries was insanely overpaid at $12M, but Rondo? Maybe just overpaid.

        • RedsLoveChild

          It`s all about Wins & Losses.

          RR is 8 years into his career…he`s shown beyond all doubts that he has “zero impact” on Boston`s W-L record….$12.9M is very generous for a player lacking impact.

          • Curt Hays

            For me, it’s all about Wins and Losses *in the playoffs*. I see Rondo as a guy who does impact the team in the playoffs. He just can’t get there with a torn ACL.

            From my perspective, they made it to the playoffs the last two times despite the repeated failures of Doc Rivers and the tendency to go to Paul Pierce far too often. I see Rondo and Brad Stevens as the guys who can change it. But I don’t think anyone is worth a max contract. It takes more than one superstar to win a ring, so I think any team giving out a max contract is going to lose.

          • bill_nair

            I agree 100% with the last 2 sentences. The guy most deserving of a max (Bron) doesn’t even make the max. I can’t be mad at anyone for going out and getting there money but GMs have ruined the way players are valued by handing out money to any player who has any sort of success.Monroe is gonna get a max contract this offseason and he hasn’t done a thing.

          • Curt Hays

            Yeah, Drummond deserves more money than Monroe, but it is in the best interests of the East to break up that particular duo. If they hadn’t wasted so much on Josh Smith and instead gone after a good coach then they’d have made a run.

          • LA Flake

            I want Monroe on the C’s!

          • RedsLoveChild

            Fine…but, when has RR ever “impacted” a playoff outcome?

            Granted, RR showed guts playing while badly injured…he once scored 44 in a losing effort. But, Boston was past their “title contending” stage at that point. He wasn`t about to impact the outcome against a better team.

            In 2008…RR was a “passenger”. That bus was clearly being driven by {in order} KG, PP, Allen, Posey, Perk.

          • LA Flake

            I’m purely speculating here but I get this feeling that Brad Stevens is not a big fan of Rondo’s game.

          • LA Flake

            If I’m paying $12.9M to a player, I need him to perform consistently every night. PP used to say something like, “I’m paid to score consistently for this team. It’s very important that I score the ball and play at the highest level every night for this team.” And he did. Rondo doesn’t do that. Yet.

          • RedsLoveChild

            Rondo is 28…the same age PP was in late 2005.

            Which of those 28 years olds would you feel better giving a huge contract to? Not even close!

  • bill_nair

    If Rondo really wants max money Danny better get what he can.

    • LA Flake

      Totally. At this stage in his career, I’d like to hold on to Rondo and see if he can make the leap in the next couple of years but he’s currently not a max player.

      • bill_nair

        I’m willing to bet he signs the extension this offseason (3 years $15mill annually I believe). It’s a pay raise and if he wants to be in Boston he’s gonna have to take less than the max.

        • NE_Celt

          Hasn’t he already said he would take less to stay in Boston? Thought I had read that somewhere.

          • LA Flake

            I don’t know if he’ll be doing a favor by “taking less” to stay in Boston. The dude’s not worth $15 million. No way. $10-12 million? Maybe. But he’s not a $15 million player. Not even close. Well, maybe in the final year of his new contract. But starting at $15 million? Uh-uh. No way.

          • NE_Celt

            Well he is making 12.9 million now…so he isn’t coming back without some sort of pay increase. I see him getting more money, either here or elsewhere, regardless. Today’s NBA, everyone is overpaid it seems.

            So here is the real question…Jeff Green and RR are both players who could be paid too much for what they can offer…which do you choose to keep if it comes down to paying one of them too much money?

          • bill_nair

            Depends how u construct the roster IMO. I think it’s easier to get a pg who can manage the game rather than finding a wing with the size strength and speed to defend the Durants and lebrons of the world. That’s why I’m not 100% all in on getting rid of green. We need a scorer though I’ll say start there.

          • bill_nair

            I agree with you Flake. He’s at the perfect price and even that’s debatable. I think out of respect (and then it becomes a slippery slope so I hate to go there…) you give him that pay raise if your Danny. But you absolutely right, I love rondo but he’s not worth more than what he gets now. Certainly not the max.

          • bill_nair

            He’s said it a couple times I believe as well as stating his intentions on spending his career here. Nothing against Rondo but I take it with a grain of salt. If he REALLY wants to be here an extension is the best bet.

  • LA Flake

    Re: PP’s comments
    Hey Paul, those guys you mentioned, Kobe, Vince, TMac (I’d include LeBron, too)…you spanked their ass throughout your whole career. Every single one of them. Iverson, Arenas, DWade and even Durant to name a few others. They were all ass kicked by you at one point of your career or another. You got nothing to prove. But it would be great to see you and KG send LBJ’s ass home early one more time.

    • bill_nair

      The most underrated hall of famer. Miss that man.

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  • Brad P

    It’s actually hilarious how an ACL injury can really hurt a player’s image to the fans. There are some of you saying that the 13 is already way overpaid and that in no world is he worth 15-16 million. There are bad contracts all over the league and Rondo at 15-16 million definitely isn’t the worst you could do. Not even close. Look at Joe Johnson on the Nets, look at Gay on the Kings. Now THAT’s overpaid. Even on the Celtics there are 3(arguably 4 with Bass) contracts that were terrible ones that never should’ve been made in the first place.

  • RedHead617

    Let’s be honest about Rondo’s future earnings: no GM who values their job is giving him the MAX-max, so it really won’t help him to enter free agency. With that said, he won’t sign an extension just anywhere, but there is a natural trade partner for our Celtics once you look beyond any hope of winning in the short term…the Los Angeles Lakers. Their lottery pick (assuming it’s 6 or 7) with Steve Nash is the best we can do for Rondo and sets us up with a young core that will add another core piece next summer by tanking another season. Keep Rondo and we risk losing him for nothing in free agency after winning just enough games to avoid the top of the lottery.

    • bill_nair

      As much as I’m against trading Rondo (bias, yes I know) I probably take the lakers pick if they offer it for him. It’s the best deal we’ve seen for Rondo (an absolute steal if you ask me)

      • RedHead617

        The Lakers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They either need to all-out tank the keep their pick in the 1-5 range or send it to Phoenix for the Nash debacle, who is also a major cap clogger. The Celtics could absord that contract and give them a star in Rondo who helps them recruit Love, Durant and Westbrook in ensuing free agency years. Rondo would certainly extend in LA and the Lakers have basically nothing but this pick and an attractive winter city working for them. Kobe and Nash are terrible contracts and Rondo is going to be better (though more highly compensated) than anyone they’ll get at 6 or 7 in the draft.

        • bill_nair

          You know what, keep Rondo and keep the lakers buried under that rock.

    • RedsLoveChild

      Rondo for LA`s pick….Mitch Kupchak would be committing “career suicide”!

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