Ainge: Rondo's not going anywhere


Ainge: Rondo's not going anywhere

WALTHAM Danny Ainge says he has no plans to trade his All-Star point guard, Rajon Rondo, - or any of the Big 3 for that matter - this season.

Rondo's name, more than any other Celtics player, has been linked with several possible trades, with the most notable one being a deal that would send him to New Orleans in exchange for fellow All-Star Chris Paul.

While Ainge, the Celtics' president of basketball operations, was quick to shoot down the potential trading of Rondo, that doesn't mean Rondo won't return to camp feeling somewhat slighted.

Remember, Rondo took the trading away of his best friend, Kendrick Perkins, harder than any other Celtic player and to some degree, it affected his play.

"Rondo will be fine," Ainge told reporters Thursday morning. "Rondo knows that we love him. He knows that we like him. He's excited to come back and play basketball; that's my opinion."

With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement yet to be ratified by both the players and the owners, league rules prohibit Ainge from speaking directly to Rondo.

However, a league source has told that the C's have told Rondo's representatives that they are not actively shopping him to other teams.

Even though Ainge's intentions are not to move Rondo, Ainge's job is to field the most competitive team he can.

And if that means trading a fan favorite like Rondo like he did Kendrick Perkins in February, Ainge has shown a willingness to make such a bold move.

While all of the Big 4 are sure to be brought up in potential trade talks this season, the Rondo-Paul trade rumors are likely to be the first of many involving the 25-year-old.

"He gets a lot of attention. He's a great player," Ainge said. "There's a lot of people that call me and ask me about Rondo. How these rumors get out, that's unfortunate. But we didn't leak those rumors out. We'll deal with it. he'll be fine."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers has had his share of ups and downs coaching Rondo.

But that doesn't take away from the fact that Rondo, a two-time all-star, has been an integral part of the C's success in recent years.

"He's one of the top point guards in the NBA," Rivers said. "Rondo has established that. Listen, there's a reason when whatever this thing leaked out, it was all over the news. It's because the players they were talking about, are both really good. Rondo has established that with his play. He is a great basketball player and he does so many things for our team.

Rivers added, "He should be flattered in a lot of ways, that this is news."

Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener


Still wait-and-see on Smart's status for Celtics' opener

BOSTON – Marcus Smart’s sprained left ankle injury continues to heal, but the Celtics remain in wait-and-see mode when it comes to his availability for the season opener on Wednesday against Brooklyn.
Smart sprained the ankle in the second quarter of a 121-96 preseason loss to the New York Knicks when he stepped on the foot of Knicks guard Justin Holliday.
He was helped off the floor by teammates Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas along with head trainer Ed Lacerte.
Since the injury, the Celtics have been pleased with the healing progress of the ankle, the same ankle he sprained as a rookie which kept him out for several weeks.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Smart is no longer in a walking boot and continues to be day-to-day as he receives a steady diet of treatments to help speed up the healing process.
Smart will undergo a series of tests to determine the ankle’s strength, prior to getting any kind of clearance to play.
That’s why Stevens isn’t worried about Smart returning to the floor too soon.
“I trust our staff. Our staff and Marcus will make that decision well,” Stevens said. “Then I play guys, if they are available.”
Smart has established himself as one of the Celtics’ top reserves, with the ability to play both guard positions and some small forward depending on the lineup on the floor. The Celtics have to prepare for the possibility that he will not be able to play in the opener (or the first few games considering Boston opens with three games in four nights.

His absence would create more playing time for Terry Rozier in addition to likely resulting in extended minutes for starters such as Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.
As eager as Smart is to get back on the floor, he and the Celtics are mindful of the big picture.
This team wants to make a deep playoff run and they’ll everyone – Smart included – to do so.
That’s why as much as Smart wants to get on the floor immediately, he has to remember – or be reminded of – that this is an 82-game season and his long-term value to this team and its goals can’t be taken for granted.

Olynyk cleared for full contact at Celtics' practice


Olynyk cleared for full contact at Celtics' practice

BOSTON - The Celtics got a bit of good news on the injury front with Kelly Olynyk being cleared for full contact.
The 7-foot center participated in most of the Celtics’ drills on Saturday, some of which included contact.
Olynyk said he had been doing some contact work prior to practice Saturday, but in a more controlled setting.
“I’m just trying to ramp it up a little bit more, every day,” Olynyk said. “Just trying to take a step in the right direction every day.”
Olynyk had surgery on his right shoulder in May with him expected to be out for at least five months.
Danny Ainge, C's president of basketball operations, recently said that he anticipated Olynyk returning sometime in the middle of November.
That would put his return about six months out from the time of surgery.

“He did a lot more than he has done,” coach Brad Stevens said. “We’ll see how he feels and progress at the appropriate rate after that.”
One of the strengths that Olynyk brought to the floor when he played was the ability to help space the floor because of his 3-point shooting.
Olynyk was not just a good 3-point shooter for a center, but one of the better 3-point shooters in the NBA last season when he connected on 40.5 percent of his 3s last season.  And it’s clear that last season was not a fluke, evident by him shooting 37.3 percent on 3s for his career.
However, the addition of Al Horford not only solidified the Celtics’ interior defense but also provides them with another stretch center.
Horford, who spent the past nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, shot 34 percent on 3s last season which at the very least, makes him a player that defenses have to respect when he’s outside of the 3-point line.