BOSTON — While there are many who believe the Boston Celtics will pursue trading Rajon Rondo sooner rather than later, the Celtics have maintained for months that keeping him in the fold is their plan.
Well, let's assume they are on the up-and-up (wink, wink) and do, indeed, plan to keep him around for at least the duration of his contract. Here are some of the reasons why such a move, or rather non-move, would make sense.
Before the torn ACL injury, Rondo was one of the NBA's best point guards. And when the playoffs rolled around, he was one of the game's best players, regardless of position.
If he comes back and plays at a comparable level, the Celtics won't move him. Boston prides itself on being about championships; hence the reason there's not a single division banner anywhere to be found. And Rondo gives them the best chance of making that happen.
NO DECENT OFFERS
As much as Rondo's name will be bantered about in trade talks, Boston is by no means going to give him away for nothing. Even the lure of a first-round pick or two from the seemingly always-bad Sacramento Kings wouldn't be enough of an enticement.
Think about it.
Putting Rondo on the floor with DeMarcus Cousins and/or Rudy Gay will bring lots of excitement, obviously. And it will probably bring about a few more wins for the Kings, even in the always-stacked Western Conference. That means the first-round pick that Boston would absolutely demand in such a deal won't be quite as valuable. And that makes the whole idea of trading him for a high draft pick pointless. Danny Ainge makes a lot of different deals. Some good. Some not so good. But trading him for what may amount to a middle-of-the-first round pick? Now that's pointless.
THE NEW BIG TICKET
Let's face it. When a team is in rebuilding mode the way the Boston Celtics are, it can't hurt to have a player who can draw fans in during tough times. Rondo is that player.
Even if he's not quite himself at first, Rondo has the kind of gate-appeal that is hard to deny.
And as much as fans are starting to embrace this hard-working, grind-it-out brand of basketball that the Celtics are playing in Rondo's absence, it pales in comparison to the way fans will come out in droves to see him.