The news, by way of Jackie MacMullan on an unaired segment of ESPN’s “Around the Horn,” that Rajon Rondo had requested a trade from the Celtics before he becomes a free agent next summer, is being denied by Rondo and his agent, Bill Duffy, despite how convinced MacMullan’s extemporaneous comments were.
Alyson Furch, a spokeswoman for Duffy’s agency, told the Boston Herald‘s Mark Murphy, that both men had discussed the report and and publically refute that any such request was made.
“Neither Bill nor Rajon know where this has come from, but it didn’t come from them,” Furch said in a text last night. “They want this on the record. Neither has spoken to anyone about this.”
Spokeswoman for Rajon Rondo's agent, Bill Duffy, said both men deny that Celtics guard has demanded a trade.
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) September 1, 2014
The denial appears more aligned with Rondo’s earlier public comments, where he’s been supportive of C’s GM Danny Ainge and coach Brad Stevens.
Rondo will only make $13 million this season, making his contract more easily digestible for a team looking to upgrade at point guard. When the initial video of MacMullan’s comments surfaced yesterday, the Clippers, Mavericks, Rockets and Kings were listed as possible trade partners, but MacMullan added that Rondo would not re-sign with the Kings next summer if a trade was facilitated.
She also said that Clippers coach Doc Rivers would not make a move to acquire Rondo because “He doesn’t like Rondo,” and “Rondo drives him nuts.” Then again, since we embedded the video of MacMullan it has since been taken down.
Then again, none of the other teams who could use help at point guard have very much to offer Ainge and the Celtics. Perhaps Ainge really does want Rondo to be a part of a long-term rebuild, but the 28-year-old would probably prefer to go to a contender during his prime rather than grow with a young team.
Rondo only played 30 games last season after coming back from ACL surgery in January of 2013.
Recently, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman had publicly said Rondo’s reputation around the league “isn’t exactly stellar with his peers.”
Rondo didn’t appear to be all the way back from the ACL surgery last season, when he began playing with a minutes restriction and inched back to his previous all-star form. Speculatively speaking, Ainge might start the season with Rondo at point guard to show other teams around the league he’s all the way recovered from the ACL tear, and then deal him when his stock is higher before the February deadline — when a contender might be more apt to hand over assets and draft picks for Rondo’s services.
That bit of guess-work aside, the veracity of the rumor Rondo asked the Celtics for a trade has to be shrouded in doubt, but just because his agent denied the reports, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. A lot of times a player’s reps will put a buffer in place so a player doesn’t actually ask for a trade himself, but one of his people does.
Whether that’s what happened here only the Celtics and Rondo know, but you can be sure that Rajon isn’t likely to stick around for a rebuild, despite his supposed love for Boston and the Celtics.
Will Rondo get traded before next summer?
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