Gasol: 'It's part of the reality of what we do'

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Gasol: 'It's part of the reality of what we do'

BOSTON Wednesday morning began like most mornings for Los Angeles Lakers forward (for now at least) Pau Gasol.

His name was once again linked with trade rumors, this time in a deal that would send him to Boston in exchange for C's guard Rajon Rondo.

Gasol said that he tries not to think about it, but adds that it's easier said than done.

"There's days I might think about it a little more, it's in your head a little more," he told CSNNE.com. "But you can't shake it off until something happens or doesn't happen at all. It's not pleasant, but it's part of the business. You have to deal with it."

Rondo can relate.

He, too, has been the subject of trade talks, with the Celtics earlier this season actively involved in trying to move him for Chris Paul, who was eventually traded from New Orleans to the Los Angeles Clippers. There was another rumor shortly after that one fizzled that involved the Lakers apparently being interested in trying to deal for Paul Pierce, who grew up just outside of L.A. in Engelwood, Calif.

"It's part of it," said Rondo, regarding the trade rumors. "I don't think no one is safe until the actual trade deadline (March 15) is over."

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, has maintained throughout his tenure that he'll pursue any trade -- regardless of which player he has to move to get it done -- if he believes it can meet certain objectives which of course include, making the C's better.

For now, Ainge told CSNNE.com that his focus is on seeing the players he assembled actually play together some before he'd seriously consider breaking the team up.

"Our guys are just starting to get back healthy, and are starting to develop nice chemistry with one another," Ainge said. "I've been happy with the way things are progressing, the direction we're heading right now."

And while adding Gasol would certainly bolster the Celtics' frontcourt, it would certainly come at a high cost -- a cost that Ainge is unlikely to want to pay for a 31-year-old big man who is averaging a career-low 16.2 points per game.

Plus, the Celtics would have to include an additional player or two with Rondo in order to match Gasol's salary, which is 18.7 million this season. After that, Gasol has two years and 38.3 million remaining on his contract.

While Avery Bradley did a nice job filling in for Rondo when he was out with a right wrist injury, Bradley is not ready to assume the lead guard role on a full-time basis.

And maybe the biggest deterrent for the C's in pursuing such a deal now -- or any deal for that matter -- is the way the C's are playing.

It's not so much that they've won a season-high five straight, and nine of the last 10.

It's how they're winning -- with defense.

With all their core guys healthy, starters and reserves alike can now play the roles they were brought in to play.

And as we've seen the past couple of weeks, the C's are devastatingly good when they play their brand of defensive-minded, grind-it-out basketball.

For Boston, the true test of how far they've come is on the horizon with a schedule that gets significantly tougher, beginning with Thursday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

After the Lakers game, Boston (14-10) has seven games prior to the All-Star Break.

Of those seven opponents, the C's face Chicago twice (Feb. 12 at the Garden, Feb. 16 at Chicago's United Center), along with road games at Dallas and Oklahoma City.

Regardless of how well the Celtics are playing, you can bet the C's will continue to be linked in trade rumors involving different players like Gasol.

"I still try to play as well as I can, help my team as much as I can as I have been," Gasol said to gathered group of reporters. "That's what I can do. It's not pleasant to know you're being dealt with, that you could be sent away somewhere, but it's part of the business part of our league and you accept it. Whatever happens, you just try to move on if it does."

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Former Ravens and Jets linebacker - now an "NFL Today" analyst for CBS - Bart Scott usually "can't wait" to make his disdain for Tom Brady and the Patriots known. 

He was back at it Tuesday in an interview with CBS Radio's Damon Amendolara, in which he said the Falcons have the better quarterback heading into Super Bowl LI.

“We know they’re the better offense, and right now, you could say they got the better quarterback because they have the MVP of the league,” Scott said. Ryan is the favorite to win the NFL MVP, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl at the "NFL Honors" show.

“Now that’s a debate, but Matt Ryan has earned the right for his name to be put up there with the upper-echelon quarterbacks," Scott said. "He’s always been elite in the regular season, but now he’s taken this show into the postseason and he’s won the hard battles against the elite quarterbacks and now you have to give him his due.”

More from Scott: “I can’t see the Patriots stopping this offense. So, that means that these receivers are going to have to [keep] pace. It’s all going to come down to what it always comes down to. It’s going to come down to who makes the turnovers, who gets up early and puts the pressure on the other team. Matt Ryan and that offense showed me a lot when they went behind [in the divisional round against the Seahawks]. Seattle came and busted them in the face, and [Atlanta] went right back down and answered immediately.

"The Patriots always find a way, but I think it makes it more close of a game than what people think.”

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while rooting for “Manchester By the Sea” to upset some favorites at the Oscars.

*Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews top the annual NHL coaches' poll produced by TSN Insider Bob McKenzie.

*The oral history of Fox’s glowing puck used for the NHL during their run with the league is an entertaining one.

*Mike Babcock gives pep talks to the reporters along with his own players while running the show in Toronto.

*The Vegas Golden Knights are moving forward with their timetable toward hiring a coach with some good candidates out there now, and some other ones potentially available soon. I’ve wondered if Claude Julien would be interested in that spot if he’s let go by the Bruins this season, but the one sure thing is that he wouldn’t be out of work long if he is relieved of his duties.

*Claude Giroux needs to start playing a little more fearlessly and without dwelling on mistakes, according to his general manager.

*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill doesn’t believe that fancy stats and analytics have had a major impact on the way the Wings do things.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the rundown on a Millenial’s dream of performers at the 2017 NHL All-Star Game: Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rae Jepsen.

*For something completely different: keeping an eye on the notion that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is going to run for President.