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September 23, 2014 Updates

For the most part, though, Grousbeck has vehemently supported Rondo, and he continued to do so Tuesday. “Absolutely it’s my goal to keep Rondo here,” the owner said. “I think we all want that. And I actually honestly think –he should speak for himself – I think Rajon wants to stay or would be very happy to stay. And we’ll see how this season goes, and how the negotiations go, but he’s proud to be a Celtic. I know that. He’s proud to wear that ring and he deserved it.” Booth Newspapers

Trade rumors forever shadow Rajon Rondo, and an expiring contract has only added to the speculation about his future. But at least publicly, Boston Celtics decision-makers continue to agree: They want Rondo around beyond his current contract. “Are you seriously asking me that again?” president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Tuesday morning before a Shamrock Foundation golf tournament at Dedham Country and Polo Club. “Yeah, we expect Rajon to be in Boston for the long term. Does that need to be asked any more by anybody ever again?” Booth Newspapers

“I expect the best year of his career,” Ainge added. “He’s worked really hard this summer and I think Rondo’s going to have the best year of his life. That’s what I expect. “He’s just a year removed from the injury. He’s growing all the time. He’s improving, he’s maturing as a leader. He’s just getting better. He’s in the prime of his career right now. And I think what he went through last year was frustrating for him, and I think that drove him to have a good, hard-working summer. I don’t think it’s the contract (motivating him) at all. I think it’s who he is. He wants to be good. Booth Newspapers

Asked if he still gets calls from other teams about Rondo, Ainge replied, “No.” “I think there’s been a lot of people that just have flat-out made stuff up, and it’s become hot topics,” he said. “Very credible people have made things up and that even makes it worse. So yeah, I think that there’s probably a lot of people out there who still have some sort of belief that there is some truth in the rumors that go on out there. But I can’t say more emphatically, my hope is that we can have a long-term relationship. Booth Newspapers

After the Los Angeles Clippers sold for $2 billion this year, the question begged to be asked: Have the Boston Celtics fielded any interest from potential suitors? Yes. Tuesday. “I was just on the phone with somebody who wanted to try to buy the Celtics five minutes ago,” co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said Tuesday morning before teeing it off in the seventh annual Shamrock Foundation golf tournament at Dedham Country and Polo Club. “But it was a quick conversation because the team’s not for sale.” Booth Newspapers

Grousbeck also addressed the controversies happening across professional sports. The NFL has experienced issues with domestic violence and reports of a serious cover-up, while Donald Sterling and certain high-profile members of the Atlanta Hawks organization have levied racist remarks that later became public. “It reminds me that we have a job here as a pro team to sort of set an example,” Grousbeck said. “And maybe even a higher standard just because kids look up to us, and we’re trying to set those examples every day. So it reminds us all, I think, in pro sports that we’ve got to use our positions wisely and finish everything through. We just finished all of our sensitivity, diversity, anti-harassment training – a serious training – early spring this year, right before the Donald Sterling thing all came out. We do that every year, but we’re going to have to stay on our guard and make sure we do the best they can.” Booth Newspapers

With his team working diligently to get back to their recent days of championship contention after an offseason that lacked those promised fireworks, Grousbeck had some interesting things to say when discussing C’s captain and impending free agent Rajon Rondo. “He’s super stubborn,” revealed Grousbeck, adding Rondo is a good, generous kid who loves being in Boston. “I don’t know how coachable he really is. “I know if you ask [former, long-time head coach] Doc [Rivers], ‘Was he the most coachable guy, or in the top half, 50 percent,’ he’d say, ‘No, he’s in the bottom 50 percent of being coachable.’ It’s hard with him,” Grousbeck continued. Boston Globe

September 22, 2014 Updates

The Celtics failed to trade for Kevin Love or draft Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker. Instead they drafted Smart and James Young and acquired Marcus Thornton, Evan Turner and Tyler Zeller. "It wasn't the fireworks that we tried," Ainge said, "and we continue to try to do, but we're excited about Marcus (Smart) and his future and James Young and his future. We need to be more patient with James, especially out of the gate. I think Marcus is more physically ready to play at our level than James is today, but we hope for fast progress from James. I felt like we acquired some assets. We didn't panic and do anything that was silly." Worcester Telegram & Gazette

One thing Rondo was way more adept at in this stage of his career was knowing what he couldn't do. In his third season, more than two-thirds of Rondo's shots came from within 10 feet of the rim. He refused to take a bunch of jumpers because, like Rubio, he was not good at shooting them. But there's a second piece of that: Rondo was (and is) a great finisher at the rim. Rubio is not. Can Ricky ever get strong enough to be an average finisher or better? Will the skill come with experience and time? Or does Rubio's lack of finishing ability make developing a jumper even more imperative? Time will tell. SB Nation

Wherever Danny Ainge goes, people ask him if he's going to trade Celtics captain Rajon Rondo. Sunday night was no exception. Ainge spoke about his life on and off the court at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Chester Street and a member of the congregation asked the Celtics president of basketball operations if he plans to deal his star point guard. Ainge used to be a Mormon bishop and now he's a high councilor of the Boston stake (region) which includes Worcester so he had to tell the truth, right? "The truthful answer is I really don't know," Ainge insisted. "I have no intention. I'm not trying to trade Rondo, but because he's a free agent this summer, he assured me that he wants to stay in Boston. We'd love to keep him in Boston." Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Ainge said he tried to negotiate a contract extension with Rondo this and last summer, but he admitted that it makes more financial sense for Rondo to not agree to a new contract until he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Rondo, 28, will receive a team-high $12.9 million this coming season in the final year of his contract. "The possibility of a trade is not out of the question," Ainge said. "Nobody is untradeable, but I don't see that happening." Worcester Telegram & Gazette

September 21, 2014 Updates

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN CELTICS HISTORY

How bright is Boston's history? Well, the first 19 players in the list won NBA titles with the team.

   

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