Danny Ainge loves Rajon Rondo. He loves him not. He loves him. He loves him not.
The reports going back and forth over whether the Boston Celtics are trying to trade Rondo can give an observer whiplash. The latest news, from a highly reputable source, claims there’s a good chance Rondo will remain in Boston through the end of his contract, which lasts through next season.
So, for now, Ainge loves him.
“League sources say Ainge is not actively shopping Rondo, but like any good GM, he isn’t ignoring the phone calls, either,” writes Ken Berger of CBS Sports. “He’s only come close to trading Rondo once before, in a deal that would’ve landed him Chris Paul. To all other inquiries about his prized point guard, Ainge keeps saying the same thing: ‘No.’”
It makes sense that Rondo’s name keeps popping up in trade rumors. He is the Celtics’ most attractive trade chip, not only because of his talent but also due to his reasonable contract. He’s said all the right things since returning three games ago from a torn ACL, which some have construed as the All-Star point guard intentionally playing it politically correct for teams that might be worried about his alleged attitude problems.
The other issue, which Berger notes, is that the current collective bargaining agreement makes it difficult for the Celtics to re-sign Rondo before he hits free agency. Rondo can only sign a four-year extension — including any years remaining on his existing contract — whereas he could get five full seasons if he waited to sign as a free agent in the summer of 2015.
In other words, while the Celtics and Rondo could save themselves a lot of headaches and spare the Internet a lot of blog posts if they just inked an extension now, it wouldn’t make business sense to either party. So the Celtics, Rondo and their fans will just have to endure the endless back-and-forth for the time being.