It is the zombie rumor. As Freddy Krueger said to Jason, “Why won’t you die?” But despite the best efforts of some to puff out illicit smoke and call it fire, what was true in February at the trade deadline was true yesterday. In the wake of more reports that Houston again targeted Rajon Rondo, multiple sources confirmed that there has been no such communication between the Rockets and Celtics. The first clue that there may be no substance here might be that Houston had nothing it possibly would be willing to give up for Rondo that would appeal to the Celts. According to league sources, Danny Ainge has been pretty firm in the past on his need to get a major player in return for his All-Star point guard, and while the president of basketball operations has to realize Rondo’s impending 2015 free agency may change the game a bit, he is still under no time pressure to pull the trigger. As opposed to Kevin Love, who told Minnesota he will opt out at the end of the coming season and leave if he is not dealt beforehand, Rondo consistently said he wants to remain with the Celtics. His view may change if the club is still treading water at the end of 2014-15, and there is no question the C’s will look heavily into trading him before then. But sources said repeatedly that choice No. 1 is to find an impact player to pair with Rondo, though that appears quite a longshot. The Timberwolves haven’t taken their bait on Love, and Ainge hasn’t been able to get involved in other major scenarios. Time, however, remains on their side. The word is strong that the Celtics will look at all possible Rondo deals, and if nothing is to their liking, they would rather risk seeing him walk away as a free agent and take the salary cap benefit. But the Houston rumor does not fall into the category of a possible Rondo deal. Executives from around the league have been laughing off some of the Rocket flares. The nicest thing being said is that the club is trying to get things stirred up after missing out on Chris Bosh, dealing away Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin and seeing Chandler Parsons sign a free agent offer sheet with Dallas.
Rajon Rondo trade rumors rankle Danny Ainge again
Boston Herald | Jul 15