Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
While Boston is not shopping Rajon Rondo, it would be open to trading him in the right deal, sources say. The Celtics feel they need more scoring to take the load off Paul Pierce.
I'm about to do a dangerous thing here. I'm about to try to enter Danny Ainge's mind and figure out why he'd consider trading Rajon Rondo.
Remember… this is me channeling Danny now. I'm merely a vessel through which he communicates:
1) No one is safe: How many times do you have to be reminded that I was the guy who advocated breaking up the original "Big 3" when they got too old? If I was open to trading Larry Bird, Kevin McHale or Robert Parish, why on earth wouldn't I be open to trading Rajon Rondo? The kid's good, but he's not in that class yet. I'll do what I can, devoid of as much emotion as possible, to help this team remain a contender.
2) Rondo is affordable to other teams. Teams have two years to get ready for a more punitive luxury tax. Well, in two years, we've got Rondo, Paul Pierce and Avery Bradley under contract… that's it. In two years, Rondo will be a valuable luxury to teams who won't want to pay taxes. That makes him much more valuable. Why wouldn't I listen to a deal that could both help us win now (by getting some more scoring) and help us rebuild later (by adding some more players to the mix)?
….. And that's the mind of Danny Ainge right now. Agree with him or not, I can understand the rationale. Of course, fans are fans… we get emotionally attached to players and we never want them to leave (or we want to run them out of town forever). Danny's job is to cut past that and try to help the team win.
And like the quote says: Danny is not SHOPPING Rondo. That's an important distinction. It's like a girl saying "I'm not breaking up with my boyfriend… but I'll listen if you've got a great date planned and see where it goes." If Rondo TRULY was the center of a rebuilding project, Danny wouldn't listen to any offers at all. But he's good enough to build around so Danny doesn't HAVE to move him either.
What can make these Rondo rumors stop? The same stuff we've been talking about forever with him. He needs to (a) becomes a more consistent scorer. Yes, that involves a jumper, but it also involves him taking scoring opportunities when they present themselves. Rondo is pass-first to a fault some times. Every once in a while, dropping 30 to let an opponent know you're willing to do it will do wonders for opening up passing lanes. (b) Rondo needs to stop gambling on D so damn much and (c) he needs to stop being so stubborn. Maybe that should have been first since that might be what prevents him from doing a and b.
Those are important improvements to Rondo's game that everyone knows he needs to make. I'm still confident he'll make them, or at least some of them. Until then, though, Rondo's name will keep popping up like this.
On Page 2: New rules for making trades:
1. It will be easier to make trades. Under the old labor agreement, the salaries of the traded players had to be within 125 percent (plus 100K) of each other. That will remain the case for taxpaying teams, but the new agreement also makes it muuuuch easier for non-tax teams to swing uneven trades. For those teams, it is 150 percent (plus 100K) of the salaries being traded, or the 100 percent of the salaries being traded plus $5 million. The limit on the amount of cash that can be included in a trade remains $3 million — but teams are now limited to trading $3 million in cash per season. So you can’t just dump $3 million into every trade as you could in the past.
2. No more wink-wink trades. Back in Feb. 2010 whn the Cavaliers acquired Antawn Jamison, they sent Zydrunas Ilgauskas to Washington in the deal to make the salaries match, then re-signed Ilgauskas 30 days after the Wizards waived him. Under the new rules, a player who is traded and then waived cannot re-sign with the team that traded him until July 1 at the earliest.
I figured I'd pass these along since we all like to propose trades in our heads. Especially after hearing about the "listening to Rondo offers" thing.
The limit on cash you can spend on trades is a disadvantage to Boston. The Celtics haven't made a ton of trades, but as a big-market team, one way the C's could out-spend a team is the ability to throw cash into trades almost at will. At worst, the Celtics will be a tax-payer and they'll have to play by the old rules. But they won't always have to. For other new rules, go here for a great breakdown.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Celtics free agent options: Point guards | ESPN Boston: Will the Celtics be cap-strapped | WEEI: How the proposed CBA affects the Celtics: Luxury tax | Celtics free agent options at center redux | Herald: Sources: Leo Papile out