General Manager Danny Ainge is on the prowl to accumulate future draft picks at all costs. Ainge wound up with three first-round picks after trading Pierce and Garnett last season and now has 11 first-round picks in the next five years. The one thing he won’t trade for a couple unsecured first-round picks is Rondo.
“Ainge may view Rondo as his next Paul Pierce,” said D.J. Foster, a columnist for BleacherReport, “the player who sticks through the bad times until there are enough assets to acquire other stars.”
That is exactly what Ainge plans to do by carefully selecting players that will play well with Rondo by capitalizing on his strengths and picking up the slack in areas that Rondo is lacking. That being said, it would take nothing short of a miracle (or an undeniable amount of money) for Ainge to let go of his most prized possession.
Rondo has made his opposition to leaving the C’s clear, but rumors of entering free agency during the 2015 offseason have been flying around. According to Rondo, he wants to pledge his allegiance to the Celtics for a long time, maybe even the rest of his career.
More Rondo: “I wouldn’t mind staying here the rest of my career. I wouldn’t mind extending another 10 years.” #celtics
— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) January 24, 2014
Rondo isn’t the only player that the Celtics want to keep around. Key player, Jared Sullinger, isn’t going anywhere. Contrary to trade speculations, the Kris Humphries just signed a three-year, $20 million contract with the C’s. Unfortunately, Avery Bradley has not been able to reach an agreement on an extension and will become a free agent at the end of the season.
The Celtics would do anything to trade Gerald Wallace, including a last minute trade with the Utah Jazz for Gordon Hayward, but would cost them multiple first-round picks. Hayward played for Brad Stevens at Butler University in college. At this point, the trade is hypothetical and a lot would need to happen in order for that to take place.
With the Celtics large cap, they hope to eventually acquire another star to play alongside Rondo. They will either trade their two first-round picks for a star or draft players that could contribute to the C’s hopeful “Rondo-centered” powerhouse.
If everything goes as planned for Ainge and the Celtics, the legendary program will begin to get back on its feet after a brutal season. Rondo, who just celebrated his 28th birthday, will hopefully extend his contract sooner rather than later. This would draw in other star players eventually and by that time, the young developing players on the team will be fierce competitors.