If you’re just watching the games, you’ve got to be wondering why on Earth the Celtics are even considering trading Rajon Rondo. The 23-year-old already has one championship ring as Boston’s starting point guard, and in this year’s playoff run, showed his potential as a true franchise player, becoming a triple-double machine and someone who can take over a game when needed.
So why do you keep hearing that the Celtics are offering Rondo in trades and that they aren’t exactly eager to sign him to a long-term extension this summer? In a radio interview that was recapped in the Boston Globe, Danny Ainge shed some light:
“We expect [Rondo] to play by the rules and be a leader as a point guard. We need him to be more of a leader,” Ainge said. “There were just a couple situations where he was late this year, I don’t know if he was sitting in his car, but showed up late and the rest of the team was there. We have team rules and you have to be on time. He was fined for being late, he said he was stuck in traffic, and it’s just unacceptable.”
Ainge was also critical of Rondo’s play during the Celtics’ second-round loss to the Magic.
“As we saw in the Orlando series, they left him wide open,” Ainge said. “His presence hurt us in winning right now because his man went and doubled onto Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce] and made it difficult for us.”
Ainge said Rondo wasn’t “that disruptive of a player,” but that he still hasn’t fully matured.
“He’s got to grow up in some cases, and I think he is, too,” Ainge said. “Slowly but surely Rondo is maturing. He’s getting a little bit more control over his emotions and he’s responding in a more positive way as he gets older and more mature in the league. We certainly would not trade him because of those things. We really need him as our point guard to be a leader than someone who thinks more of himself at times.”
Ainge added that the Celtics aren’t actively trying to unload Rondo, but with the above comments, plus ESPN’s report that Doc Rivers called Rondo “stubborn” and “impossible to coach,” it’s obvious he’s far from untouchable.
What do you think the Celtics should do with Rondo?