Rajon Rondo Trade Rumors: Why Epic Effort Won't Stop Celtics From Dealing Rondo

Matt Shetler@@buccos12Correspondent IMarch 5, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 04:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics directs his teammates in the second half against the New York Knicks on March 4, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics defeated the New York Knicks 115-111 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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With his future in Boston uncertain after being involved in trade rumors all of last week, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo didn't sulk about it.

Instead he put together an amazing week.

Rajon Rondo had his second triple-double in three games in an epic game Sunday against the New York Knicks, finishing with 18 points, 20 assists and a career-high 17 rebounds.

So while the trade rumors have seemed to light a fire under Rondo, it won't stop Danny Ainge from looking to deal his point guard, nor should it.

Obviously, Ainge isn't convinced that Rondo is a guy to build around or his name would had never surfaced in rumors to begin with.

If anything, Rondo's spectacular week has upped his value even more.

Certainly Ainge isn't going to deal Rondo if the right deal doesn't come around. He's going to have to get a nice haul in return or he's going to have a ton of explaining to do.

But the right Rondo deal could help the Celtics rebuild in a hurry.

Looking at the big picture, both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett come of the books next season. They are more valuable being kept than traded.

Allowing their contracts to expire gives the Celtics over $31 million to spend in free agency next season. To trade either or both guys means taking back salary. If someone doesn't overpay for either guy, it makes more sense to hold onto them.

Ainge also isn't going to trade Paul Pierce.

Pierce has been great lately and is the one guy Ainge is going to want to keep for the next couple of seasons. Plus, not too many teams that could use Pierce are going to have $15 million worth of quality younger pieces that it would require to get a deal done.

That's why Rondo has the most value.

He has an affordable contract for an elite point guard. He's signed for the next four seasons at roughly over $11 million per year on average.

Rondo should be able to pull a couple of quality players, with a quality big man a priority, and possibly a first-round pick in any type of deal.

If Ainge doesn't get that then he holds onto Rondo.

But if he can add some parts for the future, plus the money saved by allowing Allen and Garnett to walk and at least two first-round picks, then the Celtics should be back and contending within no time.

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