Rajon Rondo TradeESPN Illustration
There's an awful lot to digest in the aftermath of the Boston Celtics' shipping Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday. Let's break it down in bite-sized chunks while analyzing the deal, examining where Boston stands, and predicting what lies ahead as the Celtics alter the direction of their rebuilding process.

TRADE BREAKDOWN

The Celtics sent Rondo and rookie Dwight Powell to the Mavericks in exchange for Brandan Wright, Jameer Nelson, Jae Crowder and future first- and second-round draft picks. The team also waived second-year center Vitor Faverani in order to facilitate the trade. While most Celtics fans are disappointed with the return haul for the All-Star point guard, you must keep in mind that Rondo will be an unrestricted free agent at the summer, diminishing some of his total value at this point. What did Boston get in return?

• Wright is an intriguingly efficient player, one who is shooting a ridiculous 74.8 percent from the floor while ranking fourth in the NBA in player efficiency rating (26.1) and third in win shares per 48 minutes (.274). With Boston, he'll likely get a chance to showcase if he can maintain such lofty numbers in elevated minutes (he's averaging 18.7 minutes per game this season). Is Wright long for Boston? We'll know by February when he -- and his digestible $5 million salary -- could potentially be dealt again in order to bring back more future assets. Wright is an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Brandan Wright, Rajon Rondo, Jameer Nelson
Getty ImagesBrandan Wright (left) provides the biggest upside for the Celtics in the Rajon Rondo trade, while Jameer Nelson (right) will step in as Boston's ranking veteran point guard.
• Nelson becomes the oldest player on Boston's roster (five months older than Gerald Wallace). He started 23 games for the Mavericks this season, averaging 7.3 points and 4.1 assists over 25.4 minutes. Nelson's last game with the Mavericks saw him post 0 points and 0 assists over 26 minutes. It's probably better for Boston to give the bulk of its point guard minutes to youngsters Marcus Smart and Phil Pressey (or even Evan Turner). Nelson has a $2.9 million player option for next season.

• Crowder is a 24-year-old swingman who has played limited minutes this season (career-low 10.6 per game). He can provide some defensive help on the wing. The former second-round pick (34th in 2012 draft) is due a $1.2 million qualifying offer next season.

• The draft picks are the true prize for Ainge, who adds to Boston's surplus (more on that below). The Celtics are unlikely to see the Mavs pick until 2016, but will likely have four first-rounders in that draft. Ainge can pick which selections to take his swings with and package the others to try to bring in more established talent. Draft picks are a premium in a league where the cap is rising and there's a value on low-cost, high-potential talent that you have under long-term control at the start of their careers.

• The Celtics also generated a $12.9 million trade exception that could help them bring in starter-caliber talent in the next year's span. Or consider what Boston did with the $10.3 million exception it got from trading away Paul Pierce, using it in July to help bring in Tyler Zeller, Marcus Thornton and future draft picks.

GOODYBE, RONDO

The Celtics were hopeful that Rondo would be the one to lead Boston through this rebuilding process, even giving him the captaincy upon his return from ACL surgery in January. But his play had yet to return to the game-changing level we'd seen pre-injury (though he remained an elite distributor, even when surrounded by an inexperienced core). And maybe sensing that it was easier to start fresh than both pay Rondo maximum money to stick around and try to find a superstar sidekick to pair with him, the Celtics moved quickly to find the best in-season deal possible in advance of the February rush.

Rondo's departure closes the book on Boston's most recent Big Three era. Rondo will be remembered fondly for helping the 2008 team win a title, for all the dazzling moments on the court, his toughness, and his stubbornness that initially endeared him to his veteran teammates. Rondo will be celebrated like the rest of his 2008 title teammates when he returns here with the Mavs in early January. The hard part for Boston fans will be watching him from afar as he should thrive in Dallas, where he'll be surrounded with star talent and reinvigorated by the chance to contend again.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR BOSTON?

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There are still two months for Ainge to tinker with this roster and it certainly seems like more moves will follow.

The Celtics will almost certainly put a premium on developing their young core, particularly rookie guard Marcus Smart once he's healthy enough to stay on the floor. If Smart is inserted as the starting point guard, that gives Boston an insanely young core with starters Smart (20), Avery Bradley (24), Jeff Green (28), Jared Sullinger (22), and Tyler Zeller (24). Add in Kelly Olynyk (23) and Evan Turner (26) as key reserves, along with rookie James Young (19) when he's healthy enough.

With a focus on the future, the tough losses that frustrated Boston early in the season won't sting quite as much now. The team must hone in on individual development and build team chemistry within its young core. And, if we're being honest, each loss now means only a better chance at a quality draft pick.

It's fair to wonder if Boston will be aggressive in shopping veteran players who don't seemingly fit the team's future plans. The likes of Brandon Bass (29), Marcus Thornton (27) and even Nelson (32) might intrigue contenders looking to bolster their rosters before playoff runs.

The biggest question mark here is Green, who holds a $9.2 million player option for next season. Having the best year of his career, Green might be more likely to opt out this summer and seek a higher payday given the growing cap (and salaries to match the rise). With that in mind, might Boston be willing to sell high if they can net additional future assets from a contender before the February deadline?

(Read full post)

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Rondo: Time in Boston meant so much

December, 18, 2014
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Former Boston Celtics captain Rajon Rondo posted a series of Tweets thanking Boston fans and expressing excitement his future in the aftermath of being dealt to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday:
My time in Boston has meant so much. I've grown up with this city both as a basketball player and person. The love I have for the most loyal and supportive fans in the league is unmatched.

My teammates have shown nothing but heart the last couple of seasons. They are some of the hardest working guys I have played with and I wish them the best.

I've experienced my most successful and challenging years with the Celtics, fans, and city. The opportunity to play with guys like Dirk, Monta, Tyson and the young talent of Chandler is exciting. I look forward to building something special in Dallas.

[Rajon Rondo's Twitter feed]

5-on-5: Good deal for Celtics?

December, 18, 2014
Dec 18
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Playing a game of 5-on-5 following the Celtics-Mavericks swap and wondering: Is this a good deal for Boston?
Elhassan: Yes and no. Snagging an excellent finisher in Wright was a great get, those picks add to an already impressive stash, and Jameer Nelson is one of the most respected vets in the league. But you have to wonder if the Celtics jumped the gun by dealing Rondo so early. Could they have gotten more out of a bidding war?

Ford: Yes. It's not a huge haul, but the Celtics have been shopping Rondo for two years. I think Danny Ainge overturned every single rock. I think it's safe to say this was the best he was going to get. Brandan Wright is very underrated both as a player who could help the Celtics and as an asset -- his contract is very tradable. Nelson doesn't fit their long-term plan but is another potentially valuable trading chip. Crowder was a nice throw-in. The first-round pick probably comes to them in 2016, when it's top-seven protected, which may be a good thing. Ainge is collecting assets right now, and I think he picked up a couple of decent ones for Rondo.


Forsberg: It's probably about as good as Boston was going to get in-season. Maybe getting leery about either paying Rondo max money in the summer, or losing him without compensation, the Celtics assured themselves a handful of future assets while hitting reset on the rebuild.

Holmes: The Celtics risked losing Rondo for nothing in free agency, but now they have valuable assets to further their long-term rebuilding process. That's a win for them. Sure, an All-Star would've been a nice get in return, but the market wasn't that great.

MacMahon: Frankly, I figured the Celtics would be able to get more. High-flying big man Wright went from a reclamation project when he arrived in Dallas to one of the NBA's most efficient reserves. Crowder has some potential as a gritty role player. Nelson is near the end of a solid career. If Rondo fits in Dallas, the first-round pick will be awfully late.

[Read full 5-on-5]
In officially announcing the trade that delivered Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks, the Boston Celtics included the following quotes in their news release, including one attributed to the team's four-member managing partners.

“We would like to thank Rajon for everything that he has done for the Celtics organization and the success we have experienced during his tenure with us,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations.

“We would not have won Banner 17 without Rajon and will always consider him one of our most valuable Celtics, both on the court and in the community working with kids. We will always cherish the time he was here,” said Celtics Managing Partners Wyc Grousbeck, Irv Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca and Robert Epstein.

Celtics release Vitor Faverani

December, 18, 2014
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The Boston Celtics announced the release of second-year center Vitor Faverani on Thursday night in order to facilitate the completion of the trade that delivered Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks.

Faverani hasn't participated in on-court activities other than light shooting since February when he injured his knee. He underwent two surgeries, including one in September after experiencing lingering pain and swelling in the knee while attempting to resume basketball workouts in training camp.

The Celtics had hoped to have Faverani back on the court for mid-December, but had recently pushed that timetable back to the new calendar year. With a need to shed a body while bringing back three players from Dallas, Faverani was deemed expendable.

Faverani will eat Faverani's $2.1 million salary. The third and final year of his contract next season was nonguaranteed.

Faverani appeared in 37 games for Boston last season, averaging 4.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks over 13.2 minutes per game. He was Boston's opening night starter last year before fading and spending time in the NBA Development League where he suffered the knee injury.

Ironically, the man nicknamed El Hombre Indestructible never could get healthy enough to save his spot on the roster this season.

Video: MacMullan on Rondo trade

December, 18, 2014
Dec 18
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video

ESPN's Jackie MacMullan breaks down why Rajon Rondo is a perfect fit for the Mavericks and why Boston made the move.

Breakdown: How C's get $12.9M exception

December, 18, 2014
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The Boston Celtics will generate a $12.9 million trade exception after their five-player, two-draft pick swap with the Dallas Mavericks is finalized on Thursday evening. Here's how it works:

Boston sends: Rajon Rondo, Dwight Powell

Dallas sends: Brandan Wright, Jameer Nelson, Jae Crowder, and a future first- and second-round draft pick

How it works: Each team can present the deal differently to the league in order to maximize trade exceptions generated. Boston essentially lines up the deal by trading Rondo for no return, which generates a $12.9 million exception (his entire 2014-15 salary). Boston absorbs Wright's $5 million salary using Kris Humphries' trade exception ($5.3 million), Nelson's $2.7 million via Joel Anthony's trade exception ($3.8 million), and Crowder via the rest of the Anthony exception (or minimum salary exception).

The next step: Boston was at the roster maximum of 15 players and by receiving three players in return, the Celtics must waive one additional player. That final detail should emerge when Boston formally announces the trade. [Update: The Celtics have released second-year center Vitor Faverani]

Celtics, Mavs finalize Rondo trade

December, 18, 2014
Dec 18
6:24
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The Boston Celtics have traded Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks, the teams announced.

"We would like to thank Rajon for everything that he has done for the Celtics organization and the success we have experienced during his tenure with us," said Danny Ainge, Celtics president of basketball operations.

The Celtics are sending the All-Star point guard and forward Dwight Powell to Dallas for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson and draft picks. Boston will receive a conditional first-round pick in the 2015 draft and a second-rounder in 2016, as well as a $12.9 million trade exception.

"Welcome to Rajon Rondo the newest member of the Dallas Mavericks," team owner Mark Cuban wrote on the social media application Cyber Dust. Cuban also thanked the three departing players, calling them "Amazing players and better people."

Rondo joins Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Tyson Chandler and Chandler Parsons in a high-octane starting five in Dallas.

Parsons addressed the possibility of playing with Rondo earlier Thursday on 103.3 FM ESPN in Dallas.

"To be able to get a guy like Rondo, it's unbelievable," he said. "It's not every day that you can get a point guard of his status, and the way he can pass the ball, he's a difference-maker. To be able have that, with the combination of what we already have with our system and the players put around him, it's special. It's definitely exciting. Like I said, I hope it goes through because he's a heck of a talent, one of [the] better point guards in the NBA."

[Read full story]

(Post updated at 9:30 p.m. to reflect official announcement of trade)

Practice: Smart returns, Wallace sits

December, 18, 2014
Dec 18
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WALTHAM, Mass. -- A handful of notes from Thursday's pre-practice access with the Boston Celtics (non-trade rumor edition):

Smart tries again: Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart returned to practice Thursday to test his injured left foot with hopes of progressing towards game action. Smart, who missed 10 games last month due to a left ankle sprain and has sat out the past two games with a strained left Achilles, tried to return to practice on Tuesday, but removed himself early from the session after not feeling healthy enough to continue. The team has advised him to take his time with his recovery hoping to keep the No. 6 pick on the floor moving forward.

Wallace sits out: Celtics veteran guard/forward Gerald Wallace sat out Thursday's session after having some fluid drained from his knee. Wallace, whose 2013-14 was cut short by a meniscus tear, is not expected to miss game action. "We’re just doing that to rest him," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "He had a little bit of a knee [issue] that’s a lingering thing, but he’s available to play [on Friday versus Minnesota]."

Praise for Wallace: Earlier this week, we spotlighted Wallace's veteran contributions and noted how much Stevens appreciates being able to lean on Wallace whenever needed despite his limited overall role on this year's team. Stevens made special note Thursday of two instances in Wednesday's game in which Wallace made a savvy veteran play, including a blocked shot while scrambling to cover a miscommunication at the end of the first half. Asked about the man nicknamed Crash, Stevens said, "I was asked earlier this year, 'Are you worried about a guy diving on the floor or a guy [giving up his body]?' I went right into the locker room and just asked, ‘Hey, Gerald, how much money do you think you’ve made because you’ve done all those little things your entire life? And you’ve played the game the way it’s supposed to be played.’ And he continues to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. That’s a great example for young players." When Wallace was asked about how he became a great hustle player, he deadpanned, "Because I can't shoot that good."

Holiday Cheer: The entire Celtics team, including Stevens and his assistants, were set to visit Boston Children’s Hospital on Thursday afternoon to spread holiday cheer to patients. Past events have led to some spirited renditions of holiday tunes and often promotes some quality team bonding -- something that probably can't hurt this team as rumor season opens.

Stevens: Door is open amid trade chatter

December, 18, 2014
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WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens is taking a diplomatic approach to the early arrival of trade rumor season around his team, opening his office door to those who want to discuss any of the chatter while hoping it allows his team to stay focused on the action on the court.

[+] EnlargeBrad Stevens
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
With the Celtics engaged in trade talks surrounding team captain Rajon Rondo, including substantive talks with the Dallas Mavericks about a potential swap, Stevens didn't shy away from the topic of trade chatter Thursday and stressed that his biggest challenge is keeping his team locked in on its next game.

"We experienced [trade rumors] all the way through last year," said Stevens, noting he's learned from his first trip through the trade whisper windmill during his rookie coaching campaign last season. "From my standpoint, the most challenging thing of it is just coaching the group and making sure that everybody knows that we’re focused on playing Minnesota [on Friday] and we’re focused on doing what we need to do to get everybody playing at the best level that they can. I think that a lot of these guys that are older have probably dealt with the talk throughout their years in the league. But I don’t know that it’s ever not unsettling.

"So the door is open if anybody wants to talk about it and those type of things. I don’t talk a ton to [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] and his staff, they only [talk trades] if there’s really something that I need to know, right? But it’s one of those things, you just try to do your job the best you can through all the circumstances."

While many coaches attempt to simply ignore the trade chatter or downplay it, Stevens recognizes the emotional obstacle it can present.

"I look at it, first and foremost, everybody is a person," said Stevens. "There’s a lot of emotions that go into those things, and a lot of things that you have to be aware that people can be affected by that. It’s not as easy as saying to your 12 guys, ‘Go play your best.’ You’ve got to make sure that you continue to work, you focus, you help everybody that you can. And then the door is open to talk if people want to talk."

Added Stevens: "I just want [the players] to know that that’s an option. And I won’t necessarily outwardly say that, but our doors are always open. The one thing that I would change about our [practice] facility here is I’d like my office to be on the first floor so that I get a chance to see everybody every day and walk by before practice. But I think that, these guys know, and hopefully they know that we’re approachable and we’re happy to talk about that, and talk about the challenges that come with those rumors and all those other things. Also to be able to say, 'Hey, we’ve all got a task and we’ve all got a job and we still have to focus on that.'"

Stevens was asked if he'd have a larger role or more input in deciding roster moves this season, but said he'd defer to Ainge and his staff while noting, "I just want to be in the loop as they deem appropriate. They are good at their jobs. I’m hired to coach."

Stevens admitted that you could see the impact of trade rumors around the deadline in February, suggesting a bit of anxiety might have turned to relief for players, including Rondo. But after nearly five minutes of trade-related questions on Thursday, Stevens politely tried to steer reporters off the topic.

"It’s part of the NBA. I don’t want to focus on things that aren’t there, right?" he said. "So, at the end of the day, my focus is on -- today, we have a film session, followed by a practice, followed by a visit to a local hospital, and we have to have a great day as a group. We have to have a great day as a team. And it needs to be a productive day to move forward. My focus can’t be on anything else other than that."
Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge acknowledged Thursday that he’s actively involved in trade discussions and, while he wouldn’t talk specifically about rumors surrounding team captain Rajon Rondo, didn’t shy away from addressing topics like what he might be pursuing in trades and how his team might navigate a Rondo-less future.

Sources told ESPN.com Wednesday that the Celtics are engaged in substantive talks with the Dallas Mavericks about a potential Rondo trade, while also holding discussions with numerous other teams.

During his weekly call to Boston sports radio WBZ-FM, Ainge said Thursday that his philosophies on how to return the Celtics to contender status haven’t changed, even as Rondo's reemergence in trade rumors runs counter to Ainge’s insistence that the team sees Rondo in its long-term future.

“Listen, my job is to look at all the different ways and pathways for us to be a championship team,” Ainge told the Toucher & Rich morning show. “This is the time of the year that there’s a lot of talking and calling that’s going on. Part of my job is to explore the variety of ways there are to get us to our next championship, And that’s all we’re trying to do -- just build a winner.”

Ainge noted that talks typically pick up this time of year when players acquired in the offseason become eligible to be traded on Dec. 15. He expects the rumor mill to crank straight through the trade deadline in mid-February and said Boston is both receiving and making calls about ways to tinker with its roster.

“This is a hot rumor time, and there’s a hot rumor time that comes up in the middle of February,” said Ainge. “But from the middle of December to the middle of February, there’s a lot of discussion amongst teams that are trying to tweak their teams in whatever direction they sort of feel their team needs to go. Yeah, we’re having a lot of discussions just like we do every year."

Added Ainge: “When you receive calls, you might not find a partner and a deal that’s satisfactory, so you try to get two or three or four teams involved,” said Ainge. “That’s where a lot of the rumors get started, and misconstrued -- what the purposes of each team is -- so sometimes you’re calling on behalf of doing a deal that’s part of another deal. And so the accuracy of some of the rumors aren’t there. I expect a lot of trade rumors over the next couple months for sure.”

Ainge was asked what this year’s Celtics roster might be capable of if Rondo wasn’t on the team.

“I don’t know. That’s a good question,” said Ainge. “Rajon has been a big part of our team, not just this year but for the past years, as we know. We haven’t really seen what [rookie guard] Marcus Smart has been able to do yet because he hasn’t been healthy, he’s got such a shortage of minutes and opportunities to play with the ankle sprain. So it’s a good question. I don’t think any of us know the answer to that.”

So what might Ainge be looking for in trades?

“That’s easy, let’s get stars,” said Ainge. “Everybody wants a star first. In lieu of getting a star, because there’s very few of those, there’s not very many to go around to the 30 teams, the next option is draft picks, which you hope to be able to find the next stars in the draft. Not every draft is going to be as successful, but you need swings of the bat, so that would be next. Then, the next probably best thing is good, solid players. Not stars, but good players. Guys that can play a role on a team.”

Ainge was asked how long Celtics fans can endure a rebuilding process that already feels tedious after little more than a season trying to build.

“I think Celtics fans want to see good team basketball and winning basketball,” said Ainge. “I think we need to start moving in that direction. We need to win; play the game the right way and win. I don’t know if stars are required. Winning is what’s important. It’s assumed in the NBA that stars are needed and that’s true, but there have been successful teams without a star. But I have every intention of continuing try to find stars. And when I say stars, I mean great players that have a positive affect on winning, not stars that people want to watch, but stars that help winning basketball because I think that’s what Celtics fans want -- to win.”

Rondo trade could prolong rebuild

December, 18, 2014
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BOSTON -- When Rajon Rondo met with reporters following Wednesday's win over the Orlando Magic, he seemed nonplussed by his latest churn through the rumor mill. Who could blame him? He's been down this path each of the last eight seasons and has yet to change ZIP codes.

[+] EnlargeRajon Rondo
AP Photo/Elise Amendola
"[Trade talk has been] a way of life since I've been here," shrugged Rondo. "It's just part of it."

But word that the Celtics were engaged in substantial discussions with the Dallas Mavericks, all while sources indicated that Boston was also talking to teams including the Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, made it clear that these whispers had a bit more merit than any of the chatter that came before them.

So as Celtics fans crushed the refresh button on their Twitter feeds into the early hours of Thursday morning, two sobering realities set in: (1) This might not necessarily be a particularly quick process, especially with another 60 days until the trade deadline; and (2) The team's already-tedious rebuilding process might be on the verge of being extended if the Celtics ultimately elect to deal their captain.

And the latter is probably the toughest pill to swallow in a potential Rondo deal. Love him or hate him, Rondo's presence assured fans here that the Celtics would at least have a chance to contend in the immediate future. His departure would make things far murkier.

The Celtics might emerge with some quality future assets in any potential swap -- sources said the Mavs talked centered around at least one future first-round pick and big man Brandan Wright -- but those parts are unlikely to serve as an accelerator pedal to Boston's rebuild, at least not right now. No, a deal like that puts Boston in reverse, at least for the interim.

A Rondo-less Celtics team seems more likely to toil in the lottery again this season -- something that even a Rondo-led team might be unable to avoid -- and Boston would still have to maneuver with its growing pile of draft picks (unless it desires to draft enough young bodies to fill both its own roster and that of the affiliated Maine Red Claws of the D-League).

Without Rondo, getting established talent to Boston becomes a bit more difficult. Even the most Green Kool-Aid chugging Celtics fan has to admit that the Celtics' young core, as much potential as it has shown, is unlikely to lure a superstar to Boston the way Rondo's presence would. Does Kevin Love even bother securing Red Sox tickets this summer if the Celtics roster is devoid of a star like Rondo?

(Read full story)
BOSTON -- Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo shrugged off his latest immersion into trade whispers on Wednesday night.

[+] EnlargeRajon Rondo
Sam Sharpe/USA TODAY Sports
Even as the Celtics and Dallas Mavericks engaged in substantive discussions about a potential deal involving the 28-year-old point guard, Rondo downplayed the trade chatter while meeting with reporters after Boston's 109-92 win over the Orlando Magic.

"[Trade rumors have been] a way of life since I’ve been here," said Rondo. "It’s just part of it."

Rondo was asked if his preference remains to stay in Boston long term and he smiled before offering, "How many times do you want me to say it?"

When a reporter joked that he could say it one more time given the latest rumors, Rondo laughed.

"We discussed it on Media Day," he said. "My thoughts and opinions, as far as the organization, haven’t changed."

Rondo, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, has maintained that his preference is to continue his career in Boston. The Celtics, however, must decide whether to risk letting Rondo reach the open market, or move him for guaranteed assets before February's trade deadline.

Celtics brass, including president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, assistant general manager Mike Zarren, and team co-owner Steve Pagliuca were in the hallway outside the team's locker room around the same time that Rondo departed the building on Wednesday.

Rondo, who has often been frustrated by trade rumors during his career, took an easy-going approach to the topic on Wednesday night.

"I’m enjoying life," he said. "You can’t win them all. But [my teammates] are funny. I’m young and I’m doing what I love to do, it’s a dream come true. I can’t be upset about anything."

Rondo, in his second season as captain, has emerged as the veteran leader of a young team and has been a calming presence despite early season frustrations.

"I just want to be a better person this year, be a better teammate each year, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job of trying to lead these young guys," said Rondo. "I’m not that old. They make me feel like it."

Rondo was asked if he's better able to handle frustrations at this age.

"It’s hard to say," he said. "Hard to say what if, or coulda shoulda. It is what it is. Everything happens for a reason, and I believe in certain timing, things happen for a reason. I’m 28 and I’m pretty much the veteran guy on this team, that’s just part of it."

Sources: Celtics, Mavs talk Rondo swap

December, 17, 2014
Dec 17
11:30
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The Boston Celtics, after years of flirting with potential Rajon Rondo deals, are in substantive discussions on a trade that would send Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks, according to league sources.

[+] EnlargeRajon Rondo
Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports
Sources told ESPN.com that the Celtics and Mavericks have been discussing a swap that would furnish Boston with multiple draft picks -- including at least one future first-rounder -- as well as blossoming Mavericks center Brandan Wright and other players needed to make the salary-cap math work.

Sources say the Celtics also have been talking to teams such as the Sacramento Kings and New York Knicks about potential Rondo deals, but that the most advanced discussions so far have been with Dallas.

Because Rondo is in the final year of his current contract, sources say that any team that can come to terms on a trade with Boston likely will request permission to confer with Rondo and agent Bill Duffy to get Rondo's input on the new destination, which gives them a level of influence into where he's ultimately dealt.

(Read full story)
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BOSTON -- On the day that his name made its annual return to trade whispers, Boston Celtics captain Rajon Rondo spearheaded Boston's balanced production by registering 13 points, 15 assists, and 7 rebounds during a 109-92 triumph over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday at TD Garden.

Rondo was flirting with his fourth triple-double of the year in the first half (7 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds) and got an extended second-half rest as backup Phil Pressey (9 points, 4 assists) helped Boston open the game up in the fourth quarter.

Brandon Bass led the double-figure scoring party with 18 points off the Boston bench. Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger scored 16 points apiece, while Kelly Olynyk -- fresh off a 30-point effort on Monday in Philadelphia -- added 15 points and 6 rebounds.

The Magic led by as much as 10 in the first half, but a second-quarter surge helped Boston pull ahead before the intermission.

Goodbye, Sully's slump: Jared Sullinger, who had scored just 15 points on 6 of 31 shooting (19.4 percent) over his past four games, broke out for 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting over 24 minutes.

Air Canada

Best basket that didn't count: Call it Air Canada after Celtics second-year big man Kelly Olynyk got some serious air for a post-whistle dunk in the second quarter. Not to be outdone, Rajon Rondo went behind his back from the blocks for a post-whistle make later in the frame.

Best basket that did count: Olynyk got his man with a pump fake then dunked over both Kyle O'Quinn and Mo Harkless early in the fourth quarter, leaving the entire Boston bench tumbling onto the floor in delight at another delivery from Air Canada.

Loose balls: The Celtics dressed only 11 players and stuck with a 10-man rotation. Rookie Dwight Powell did not play. ... Boston shot 55 percent from the floor overall (44 of 80).

What it means: The Celtics improved to 9-14, while the Magic fall to 10-18. ... Boston gets a practice day Thursday before hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
19.6 1.5 1.0 34.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.2
AssistsE. Turner 3.3
StealsK. Olynyk 1.3
BlocksK. Olynyk 0.8