Opinion: Celtics shouldn’t trade Rajon Rondo

The Celtics will likely juggle many offers for point guard Rajon Rondo over the next few months. (Getty Images)
The Celtics will likely juggle many offers for point guard Rajon Rondo over the next few months. (Getty Images)

 

 

As much as it will sting this weekend when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are holding up black and white jerseys in Brooklyn, Celtics fans should be happy going forward.

The Pierce, Garnett, Rivers (and Ray Allen) window is closed and, frankly, has been for a while. The days of attempting to patch together a championship contender are over. Right now, Danny Ainge and the Celtics are in the business of trying to construct the league’s next best collective super-power that will compete for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 titles and the best way to do that is to try and land the league’s next LeBron James or Kevin Durant. In other words, they should tank the 2013-14 season in an effort to draft Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle or Marcus Smart – the guys who are believed to be the “next big things.” The guys who could allow the Celtics to compete for titles, not just for three or four years like a late-stage Garnett, but for 10, 15, possibly 20 years.

But trading Rajon Rondo, easily the team’s best player and a guy with a team friendly contract, in order to secure one of the NBA’s worst records should not be on the C’s list of priorities.

Ainge says that the Celtics are in position for a “quicker turnaround” than when he took the reigns of the franchise in 2003. And there is actually plenty of reason to believe that he is telling the truth on this one (though if the last month or so has taught us anything regarding the Celtics, ‘Don’t trust a thing Danny Ainge says’ is it).

 By Ainge’s first term standards, the Celtics are already in 2006-07 mode. They won a championship a year later to complete the greatest single season turnaround in league history. While it’s highly unlikely that the C’s will capture the 2014-15 NBA crown, there is a great chance that they could be extremely good in just a year and a half. That is, if they keep Rondo to pair alongside one of these ‘next LeBron’ types.

It’s one thing to get lucky in the draft lottery. But an even harder task in the NBA is trying to lure a Top 25 player to come play for you in free agency. Just ask the Lakers, who are based in arguably the top market in the league. Free agency is tricky, no matter where your franchise is based.

Now Rondo probably isn’t talented enough to be the No. 1 guy on a championship team. But even Rondo bashers would have to admit he has the talent to be a pretty damn good No. 2 option. At his peak performance level, he could even be the league’s top sidekick.

As for that whole attitude thing? There’s a reason why Brad Stevens is going to get paid $22 million through the end of this decade. Championship coaches have to deal with egos and hot-headed players. Phil Jackson dealt with Kobe. Phil Jackson dealt with Rodman. Chuck Daly dealt with Rodman. Rudy Tomjanovich dealt with Vernon Maxwell. And Doc Rivers dealt with a guy named Rajon Rondo. Good coaches, championship coaches, find a way.

This is for certain: the easiest route to the next title involves Rondo and it involves Stevens. It involves Rondo nursing his ACL Derrick Rose-style in 2013-14. It involves Stevens making Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green and Kelly Olynyk into hot, young NBA commodities in 2013-14. Beyond that it involves Rondo and Stevens getting along.

A quick turnaround is doable for Ainge. But if Rondo is holding up a different colored jersey in another NBA city in these next couple of years, well, that’s when things will start to become complicated.

Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.