Rajon Rondo. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
I know i've engaged in an unhealthy amount of fantasizing about possible blockbuster megatrades that completely benefit the Pistons. It doesn't matter that the likelihood has always been somewhere between 1 percent and when hell freezes over. It's just a symptom of NBA Trade Deadline Fever.
One of my favorite targets to dream about was Boston Celtics starting point guard Rajon Rondo. A combination of the Celtics looking done as a contender and rumors of the team somehow seeming willing to trade the supremely talented but difficult point guard made my mind race.
Well, you can stick a fork in that dream as Celtics GM Danny Ainge says the team is going to hold onto Rondo.
"Rondo's not being traded," Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com before the Celtics played the Los Angeles Clippers. "I don't know how many times I have to say it. Rondo's not being traded."
And in case you thought that wasn't unequivocal enough he continued:
"He's our best player, he's the most important part of our future," Ainge said Thursday during his weekly segment on Boston sports radio WEEI ."There's no way we're actively trying to trade Rondo. That makes no sense, no logical sense."
Not all is sad, however. The same report indicates that if the Celtics were to shop for anything on this free agent market it would be looking for a big man.
If the Celtics do make a move before the trade deadline, it's likely to be for a big man, Ainge said Monday, as the prognosis for centersJermaine O'Neal (left wrist) and Chris Wilcox(cardiac issue) remains uncertain. That addition, if needed, might not come from through a trade, he added.
"I don't feel like we have to do anything, other than we eventually have to get another big body," Ainge said. "But I don't think you have to make a trade at all."
If the Celtics can't find a deal that brings back a proven big man without sacrificing future financial flexibility, the team could examine other options to clear roster space, including releasing or buying out a player on its currently maxed-out 15-man roster.
Can anyone say Jason Maxiell? He has a player option for $5 million after this season and while he has been more productive this season than in several years he is still likely to exercise the option and not test the free agent market. But I don't think that with only $35 million in committed salaries next season a $5 million big man is seen as an albatross.