HoopsHype Danny Ainge rumors

January 24, 2014 Updates

Now Ainge doesn’t have to be worried about whether a trade might cost the Celtics a few wins. From the second he agreed to the Pierce-Garnett deal, he has been playing for seasons beyond 2013-14. “I don’t do deals just for the sake of change,” said Ainge. “We change for the purpose of progress. In the deal that we did with Jordan (Crawford) and MarShon (Brooks), as an example, we like those guys, but we really want to see Phil (Pressey) play. And it was tough for him to get minutes and opportunities. With Rondo coming back, Phil wasn’t going to (get) a chance to play much. Boston Herald

“On top of getting the assets, we like Joel Anthony’s defense, and we like getting the draft picks and all that. But there are so many more things that go on top of it — getting opportunities for development. When we started the season, we just had logjams everywhere.” Boston Herald

One of the logs is back at home, still under contract to the Celts cashing checks and waiting to see if he’s included in a trade. “I would say Keith (Bogans) was a guy we probably knew going into the year that wasn’t in the long-term plan,” Ainge said. “But with MarShon and Jordan, they’re still young players. I like how Jordan played for us, and I like him as a kid. I like what I saw in MarShon when he got a chance to play in the D-League and his last game with us. I think he has potential and possibilities. We’ll continue to monitor them, as well. Those guys are free agents this summer. We’re evaluating everybody in the NBA, along with our own guys. But where we are now, we need to see some guys play. Boston Herald

“So the draft is really important, and now we have a lot of assets. Draft picks are always tradable. Sometimes players aren’t always tradable, once they expose themselves on the court. Draft picks almost always are tradable. But development is really important for us, and I’m happy with the development of Kelly Olynyk and Phil Pressey and Jared Sullinger and Vitor (Faverani). Vitor has been a little inconsistent, which you’d expect with inconsistent minutes and a guy coming from playing European ball his whole life. It’s a whole different life.” Boston Herald

As such, it would have been financially unwise for Rondo to accept an offer now when he stands to potentially make more this summer or even next summer when his current deal — a five-year extension worth $55 million he signed in the fall of 2009 — expires. “I didn’t expect him to agree to it, and I understand why they didn’t,” Ainge said of the most recent extension offer. “We’ll continue to have talks when we can.” Boston Globe

It figures both sides will be focused on the summer of 2015, when Rondo will likely be one of the league’s top free agents on the market. “He’ll be paid a lot,” Ainge said. “He’s a four-time All-Star. He’s 27 years old. He’ll be paid a lot, is my expectation.” Boston Globe

When asked if that message is understood across the league, Ainge pointed out he has had only one conversation with another team about Rondo. “I actually did have a team call me and say, ‘Hey, would you have any interest in trading Rondo?’ Before he even offered me a package,” Ainge said. “And I said no. And that’s it. That’s as long as the conversation happened. “Now, I did happen to know what that team had, and I happened to know that team’s assets. I can’t ever be put in a situation where the sentiment of my relationship with the player prevents me from doing what’s best for the franchise. But that’s the extent of it.” Boston Globe

Make no mistake, the Celtics would like to keep Rondo, but Ainge doesn’t like the notion that the team must “build around” Rondo, or any one player for that matter. “I don’t like saying that, whether it’s Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen,” Ainge said. “And those guys are multiple-time All-Stars. I just don’t like ‘building around’ something. Everybody knows who the best players are on teams, but I just think that gives the players the impression that they’re more important than everybody else on the team and the rookies on the team. I just don’t like how that creates a culture of individualism as opposed to the whole team. [Rondo is] obviously a very important part of our team and has been for years. Some people are going to continue to use [those terms] whether I like it or not. I’m just saying I don’t like to use that.” Boston Globe

Ainge continued, “You look at LeBron James, who was a great player in Cleveland. He didn’t win a championship until he got with Dwyane Wade and with Chris Bosh [in Miami]. Same thing with Paul, KG, and Ray — great, Hall of Fame, superstar players, they didn’t win until they got together with other people. The fact that you’re ‘building around’ one player or ‘he is the cornerstone’ — there’s only one or two of those guys in the history of the game, maybe a handful. I just want to sort of make that clear. Of course, we really like [Rondo]. We tried to extend him. He’s been a huge part of our team and will continue to be.“ Boston Globe

January 23, 2014 Updates

Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge has said that Rondo is part of the team’s future, and making him team captain appears to reflect that stance. But Ainge took it a step further while on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday, and said the two sides have already spoken about a contract extension with Rondo set to become a free agent after next season. “We did talk to Rondo about extending him,” Ainge admitted. “But that’s all part of the negotiation that will happen again this summer and most likely the summer after. I don’t know [if he will sign an extension], time will tell.” CBS Local

“In the Collective Bargaining Agreement, there are limits on what can and can’t be done. Really it’s not that Rondo doesn’t want to accept an extension, but it’s just not financially smart for him to accept it right now,” said Ainge. “We didn’t think he would [sign], but we did tried.” Ainge didn’t want to discuss any of the negotiations, but admitted that Rondo will probably get “star money” and “demand quite a bit on the open market.” CBS Local

January 22, 2014 Updates

Ainge has spent the past several months scouting players such as Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, Marcus Smart, and Julius Randle, players who could impact the future of the Celtics. Ainge has stacked the organization with as many as 17 draft picks over the next five years; 10 could be first-round picks. The next step is to determine how to replenish the roster. The Celtics could decide to build through the draft, free agency, or both, but those Kevin Garnett- or Ray Allen-type deals are extremely rare. All-Star players who can help win championships are not readily available. Those standout players who are — such as Carmelo Anthony or Pau Gasol — most likely aren’t helping their current team win. Boston Globe

January 20, 2014 Updates

But it's clear that in Celtics GM Danny Ainge's eyes, success the remainder of this season can't be measured in terms of wins and losses. "My expectations weren't that we were going to win a championship this year, when the season started," Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com on Sunday. Instead of wins, the focus will remain on getting the team's younger players as much as experience as possible. "But I understand you can't play five of those guys at one time," Ainge said. "So you have to be patient with them." CSNNE.com

January 17, 2014 Updates
January 16, 2014 Updates

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed Thursday morning that Rajon Rondo is on schedule to make his first appearance of the season Friday night when the C’s host the Lakers. “Unless there are any setbacks [Thursday], we’re anticipating him playing [Friday],” Ainge said in an interview with Boston radio station WBZ-FM, noting that the guard will be restricted to five minutes per quarter. Rondo was placed on the active roster and in uniform for Wednesday’s win over the Raptors, but he did not enter the game. WEEI.com

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