Thursday, January 5, 2012
Danny Ainge: I wasn't shopping Rondo
To Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, actively shopping a player on the trade market is not the same concept as using one to acquire an impact player.
Ainge stressed this difference Thursday when asked about the offseason trade talks involving point guard Rajon Rondo and former Hornet Chris Paul.
"I was not trying to trade Rajon Rondo," Ainge told WEEI's "The Big Show." "There's a big difference between trying to acquire a player and trying to trade a player. I know that some people say, 'Oh, that's just semantics.' No it's not. Rondo knows what I was trying to do, and he knows I wasn't shopping him around and trying to trade him, like has been reported. There's a big difference."
Ainge insisted that Rondo's name was only came up only as the Celtics pursued an available game-changing player in Paul.
"I sat down with Rondo when he got back into town, when the lockout ended, and I just told him the truth of what was going on. And that was it," Ainge told WEEI. "I've had conversations since -- I told him exactly what was happening."
Ainge likes what he's seen from Rondo so far this season, but downplayed the idea that the feisty point guard is using the trade chatter as motivation.
"Rondo is just maturing right before our eyes -- he's just incrementally understanding the NBA, and the whole process," said Ainge on the radio. "I'm sure that -- as we all are brought to that conclusion at some point -- we really are in a business. You can't get emotional, and then get your feelings hurt. Rondo should take these (trade) conversations that we had this summer as a compliment to who he is as a player.
"I don't think he uses it as a major motivation. I think he was very motivated. We had received reports all summer how hard he was working this offseason. He showed up in great shape and he came out of the gates playing fantastic basketball for us. He had a great training camp and he has the right mindset when he goes out there on the court."
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg was used in this report.