Rajon Rondo has become the Pau Gasol of the Boston Celtics. For the past few trade deadlines, including this one, Rajon Rondo’s name has been fluttered around trading block through no fault of his own. Even though Danny Ainge has publicly denied shopping Rondo, teams have kept inquiring about the Celtics’ superstar point guard. New reports have come out, having been confirmed by Zach Lowe and Sam Smith, that have stated the Celtics’ asking price. The Celtics are reportedly asking for two [unprotected] first round draft picks in exchange for Rajon Rondo, who is performing well after tearing his ACL early on in 2013. According to Nick Borges of ESPN.com, the Celtics will likely want young talent on top of the two [unprotected] first round draft picks as well. This was a brilliant move by Danny Ainge, the president of basketball operations of the Boston Celtics, as he has essentially made Rajon Rondo untouchable. This shows that the Celtics will likely attempt to rebuild around Rondo as opposed as to rebuilding without him. This asking price also ultimately eliminates the New York Knicks from contention as a possible destination for Rondo. In fact, the only team that can truly make a play for Rondo at the deadline is the Phoenix Suns. They could have up to four first round draft picks in the 2014 NBA Draft (which is the most hyped draft since 2003, making the picks even more coveted), and have two fantastic point guards in Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic. However, those two fantastic point guards are the exact reason why I can’t see the Suns making any legitimate play for Rondo.
There were indications early on in the season that the Celtics would not be trading Rondo any time soon. As Ben Leibowitz of Bleacher Report reminded everyone, Rajon Rondo was appointed to being a captain, becoming only the 15th person in Celtics franchise history to become captain. Brad Stevens, first year head coach of the Celtics, put it beautifully when he said, “This isn’t about us naming Rondo captain. This is about him earning that title through his play as a Celtic, his accountability as a leader of this team, and his commitment to the Boston community.” The Celtics nucleus will have Rondo in it for many years to come, as no team will be willing to match Ainge’s asking price for Rondo. Ultimately, that is the best thing for the Celtics and any other team that was considering making a play for Rondo before the deadline, as Rondo’s asking price is too high for any team to truly consider and his leadership ability and championship background is crucial for this Celtics squad.