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Celtics Morning Joe: What if Rondo wants out in two years?

Posted by shawn cassidy on July 14, 2013 at 5:00 AM

This offseason has been full of Rondo rumors, and tanking theories. What about this one? What if Danny can't build this team into contenders, or close to it by the time Rondo's deal is up. Of course the Celtics can offer Rondo more money, but knowing Rondo's desire to win. Would that be enough? We already know Miami is out of the question, right? Would Rondo truly think about leaving the Celtics in 2015. If Danny want's to retain Rondo, he will have this team ready in some capacity. Rondo will be 29 when he enters free agency, and it's likely his last big deal in the NBA.

The next two seasons in Celtics basketball will be a bit rough of course. Many bank on the Celtics possibly being a 7th or 8th seed in the East, which isn't ideal for any of us, but will have to endure such seasons to return to glory. Will have to also endure numerous rumors surrounding Rondo, until he signs an extension, or signs in the summer of 2015 with the C's. 

Boston Herald

And while the Celtics most definitely do not want to drag this process out, there is also a very real clock ticking. The club has the two years that remain on Rondo’s contract to put together the kind of product that will convince him to hang around when he becomes a free agent.

If the Celts are not making adequate progress — or at some point before that do not believe they will be far enough along by then — it will be incumbent on Danny Ainge to seek a trade for the franchise’s most valuable asset.

So while he wants to be patient with the project, the Rondo of Damocles creates a certain identifiable measure of urgency.

But putting veterans who may be better right now on the floor to squeeze out a few extra cosmetic victories does not bring the Celtics closer to their goals.

Doing their best to win while developing younger players can, on the other hand, buy them a lottery ticket and make them better at a point in the future when it can truly matter.

I have said it before that I believe Danny is building picks, and young talent along with a few expiring deals that could net him one or two stars later on. Danny will stick with his formula, or he will start from scratch by trading Rondo. His formula will likely be similar to the one that brought in Ray and Kevin. Many stars seem like they want to play with Rondo. Why wouldn't they? He will get you the ball to score. Plus he knows how to win. So that could attract another star player looking for a trade to be paired with another star.

It's hard to guess on much right now. It all depends on how well the season goes, and how well the new coach and Rondo gel. From all reports it sounds like Danny isn't done yet this offseason. Maybe will know more about the potential future of this team with any further deals.

Categories: Celtics Morning Joe

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Reply paul
8:18 AM on July 14, 2013 
To me, what the Cs seem to be doing right now, if they really are keeping Rondo, and with Brad Stevens coming aboard, is not tanking at all. It's team building. It doesn't look like the goal is to lose games. It looks like the goal is to develop young players. And there's no guarantee that this team won't contend next year. I'm actually becoming someone excited about next season. It's true that we've lost our defensive stalwart and our go-to-scorer. It's true that Rondo looks to be the only player on our team that would put any fear into opposing teams. It's true that we are starting to look like a D-team at the 5. But what really hurt us last year, more than anything, it seems to me was that we seemed to be so unprepared, and that there seemed to be no plan. I think that Doc was tired, and more bluntly, that he has turned into a ring-chaser. It hurt us a lot too that Ragin' Rondo turned into Rondo the UnReady, but most people seem more than happy to blame everything on that. If you ask me, Doc was the one who was exposed last year, not Rondo. Now we have a coach who, it appears, will not only be ready for next season, with a detailed and well-thought out plan, but who will be chomping at the bit, with a lot to prove, and who doesn't at all mind doing it the hard way. Everytime Stevens says he's all about process, what he's really saying, in my view, is that he is no ring chaser. As far as I can see, almost all the questions being raised about Rondo are bogus. The only real questions, in my view, are whether he will bring his complete game next season, if he is healthy, and whether Stevens and he will work well together. Stevens needs to design this team around Rondo, and with Rondo. If what he does instead is try to shoehorn Rondo into a role, we'd be better off trading Rondo, and Rondo would be better off too.
Reply C'slife
12:48 PM on July 14, 2013 
I'm excited as well Paul. This is the biggest season in Rondo's career. He will have a chance to show his worth, and what he can do with this young talent. This team is better than a team with the likes of Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Delonte West. Rondo has great potential with Green, and so on.
Reply paul
2:48 PM on July 14, 2013 
CsLife, Rondo must be feeling fairly excited. This team may not have a lot of guys who can create their own offense, but it is starting to look like a team of smart players who can feed off Rondo big time. I don't know why the folks running Rondo down don't see the crazy potential there. I wish Shaq would speak up about it. Tell folks about Rondo, Shaq, about how much this guy loves to break down the defense and then feed other people. But will Stevens see it? Will Stevens see that we've got to build the offense around Rondo? I have never seen a point guard with Rondo's ability to break down a defense and pass, in the open court and in the half court. What we need desperately is finally a plan that will take advantage of this. These guys are smart. When Rondo goes on the move, they should have series of options broken down, conditional on what Rondo does and what the defense gives up. Doc used to talk about Rondo's 'random' play. It never was random. Doc only used that word because he was UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND what Rondo was doing, in my opinion. I think Stevens will get it. Just as Magic's true innovation, supposedly, was to have actual plays for his fast breaks, Rondo's true innovation will be, in my opinion, to have actual plays for what Doc used to call his 'random'. When Rondo moves in a certain direction, the other guys should have various preplanned rotation options to try to open floor in certain ways, set screens in certain ways, and provide targets for Rondo. Whatever direction Rondo moves in, he will draw the D, and that will provide options for some of the really smart players we have. Remember how Quisy always seemed to know exactly how and when to cut to the basket? Imagine a team full of guys looking to Rondo that way. Imagine Rondo taking a screen from Green, faking the pass back to Green for the pick and pop, but attacking the lane as both defensive players hesitate (his man and Green's man), drawing the defense and then either taking his running floater or hook, dropping the ball down to Sully with position inside, or hitting Olynyk just right at the three point line - we could see a lot of that. Just like Shaq, during that brief stretch, these guys are not really terrifying scorers in their own right (even Green), but they know the game and could be masterful finishers.