BOSTON With Ray Allen (sick) out for tonight's game against New Jersey, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers knows all too well the kind of chatter that will generate.
"The Ray (trade) rumors will start tomorrow," Rivers said, in jest.
But trade rumors this time of year are no laughing matter, especially when the rumors have little to no foundation in the truth.
Rivers said he was especially bothered by rumors that the Celtics were "aggressively" looking to trade Rajon Rondo, and another rumor involving the C's shipping Rondo to Los Angeles for a package that would ultimately send Pau Gasol to Boston.
"That's two (rumors) I haven't been happy with," said Rivers, who added that it doesn't bother him if a rumor is in fact true. "There was no truth to that (the C's were aggressively shopping Rondo), and the Gasol thing was even crazier. That was just ridiculous. When that kind of stuff happens, it bothers you."
Another one that started making the rumor mill rounds within the last 24 hours has Kevin Garnett going to Atlanta in a deal that would send Josh Smith a good friend and former prep school teammate of Rondo to Boston.
When asked whether he heard the Garnett-Smith rumor, Rivers said, "just now; just now. You just told me."
Another one of those crazy rumors, coach?
"I'm going to put it like this," Rivers said. "If this is the first time I've heard it, what do you think?"
With so many rumors involving so many players, there's no question that it has the potential to have a negative impact on the C's.
"Every team handles it differently, even when you have the same team every year," Rivers said. "It's going to continue for the next two weeks with us with every team. If I think it'll affect a guy or even the team, you'll talk about it, sometimes you don't."