As the Boston Celtics continue to move forward in the rebuilding process after trading Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, point guard Rajon Rondo maintains that he wants to stick with the franchise he won a championship with for the long haul.
Per a tweet from The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn:
Washburn also tweeted the following quote from Rondo, who cited his comfort level in Boston:
Rondo was the subject of rampant trade speculation throughout the 2013-14 season. Prior to the trade deadline, both Sam Smith of Bulls.com and Grantland's Zach Lowe reported that the asking price in Boston's front office for the talented floor general was "two unprotected first rounders."
Rondo wound up hanging around through the deadline. Either no team in the Association offered the asking price, or Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge genuinely has no interest in moving the four-time All-Star.
We love Rondo, and Rondo loves us. We don't feel like there's pressure that we have to do something or there's some sort of deadline that something has to get done by. You know, sure Rondo has to see progress and Rondo has to believe that we're going to be contenders and be in the picture and have something. But that's an ongoing thing. I mean, we feel that way with everybody.
Back in January, Rondo was named the 15th captain in Celtics franchise history, per ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg.
At the time, head coach Brad Stevens said the following, per Forsberg:
I've always believed that captains name themselves with their leadership on and off the court. This isn't about us naming Rondo captain. This 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.
That commitment to leadership has seemed to grow in the months since. According to Comcast SportsNet's A. Sherrod Blakely, Stevens said that the veteran point guard is still around the team facility "a lot" and called rumored Rondo deals "just speculation."
The Celtics already have a plethora of first-round draft picks—both this year and beyond—as well as young talent via Jared Sullinger. They could use those selections to develop more young players or package them in a blockbuster deal. Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Boston remains a contender to land Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love via trade.
It appears as if Ainge and Co. are ready and willing to build around Rondo for the foreseeable future. That likely won't thwart ongoing trade rumors, but Boston's front office can't let that get in the way of a cohesive long-term plan.
As long as he's dedicated to his new role as captain, keeping Rondo is undoubtedly the best decision for the Celtics organization.