Rondo: The near-misses

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Rondo: The near-misses

I'm going to have something a little bigger on the Rondo situation tomorrow. You know, just to change things up a bit. In the meantime, here's another little diversion from the Rondo talk with a little something about Rondo.

As we speak, Rondo is the NBA leader in total assists, with 420. However, it's only a matter of time before he loses this title. The way it looks now, Greivis Vasquez will have surpassed him by next week, and by the end of the year, Rondo's name won't be visible on the list of top NBA assisters. (Rasheed Wallace approved.)

On the other hand, I'm willing bet he finishes the year as the NBA's leader in triple doubles.

To that, a lot of people will say: "BLSRHF! Who cares? They were 2-3 when Rondo tripled doubled this year. It's meaningless!"

But that's not true. They aren't meaningless. Because triple doubles are awesome. Are they more important than winning? Of course not. But they're still great.

Seriously, how many stat lines are cool enough to get name dropped in raps?

Perfect game? No hitter?

Anything else?

I'm talking single game stat lines. Not season.

Maybe "straight sets"? I'm almost positive that I've heard Jay-Z rap about beating someone in straight sets, but Google isn't backing me up.

Anyway, the world loves triple doubles, and Rondo currently leads the NBA with five. That's well ahead of LeBron, Nicholas Batum and Jose Calderon, who are tied for second with two.

Of course, there's always the chance that LeBron goes off and ends up with, like, 10. But the safe bet is that Rondo finishes on top. This would be the second straight year he leads the league in this category. This, after finishing second to LeBron in the two previous seasons.

And how about this: Over the last three years, Rondo has 14 triple doubles. Nobody else has more than six. The next three guys on the list (LeBron, Iguodala, Westbrook) have combined for only 13.

For his career, Rondo has 18 triple doubles. That ties him with Kobe four fourth place on the active list behind Jason Kidd, LeBron and Grant Hill.

Maybe the craziness thing of all?

Rondo missed an additional three triple doubles by ONE rebound this season.

That means he was three random rebounds away from having eight triple doubles in 38 games!

And OK, that's enough. Let's not go down that road. After all, three of the five triple doubles he did get featured exactly 10 rebounds, so you could also say that he was three random rebounds from having two. Bottom line: He finished with five. That's still amazing.

And certainly something we're all going to miss over the course of this Rondoless season.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Zach Lowe’s most recent podcast is worth a listen, as it features plenty of talk about what the Celtics may or may not due ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. 

Lowe brought up the possibility of the Celtics top-1 or top-2-protecting Brooklyn’s first-round pick and including it in a deal for Butler. He surmises that the inclusion of the Brooklyn pick -- protected or not -- might not come until the final minutes. 

“Look, if Butler gets traded or if Paul George gets traded, that’s when it’s going to happen,” Marc Stein responded. “It’s going to happen in the last five to 10 minutes, so Boston has to make a decision, and let's see if they’re doing the math that they’ve had these assets for a while and it is time to do something bold and the time is now. Really, I think Boston will do it. The question is what will Chicago or Indiana do? And those are two hard reads.” 

Stein spoke to the Celtics’ lack of activity at certain points, but he said that if the C’s do fail to come away with a star player Thursday, it won’t be for lack of aggressiveness. 

MORE TRADE TALK

“I think the Celtics are taking criticism for waiting, and they’ve had all these assets they haven’t moved yet, but I think the record shows that Danny Ainge in general, in total, is very aggressive, not afraid to roll the dice, not afraid to make the aggressive move,” Stein said. “So I have less doubt about Boston saying, ‘Let’s just do it.’ I have far more questions about what Chicago and/or Indiana would do.” 

Lowe said that he imagines the Bulls would “think about” trading the C's Butler if Boston threw in the Nets’ pick unprotected, but added that Chicago would demand to also take two players out of Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. 

“I think that will be the offer and they’ll get there and Chicago will either have a moment where they say, ‘We walk away or we’ll do it.’ And Boston’s not going to throw in the other Nets pick,” Lowe said. “That’s just not going to happen.”

Rating the aforementioned foursome in terms of trade value, Lowe said that Crowder is the best piece because of his “ridiculously good” contract, followed by Brown, Smart and Bradley. 

Lowe added that he considers Bradley one of the “sneaky interesting pieces at this trade deadline” because his contract is up after next season, which is the same time that Isaiah Thomas’ contract expires. Lowe says that given the uncertainty of his future in Boston, he wouldn’t be overly surprised if Bradley is moved at the deadline. 

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game.