As soon as the Boston Celtics announced the hiring of Brad Stevens as their new head coach, people began to wonder that that meant for Rajon Rondo’s future. Rondo is 27 and recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee. Though he is one of the best point guards in the league, he is notoriously difficult to coach. Many speculated that he could be traded during the Celtics’ rebuilding process.
But let’s not move too fast on that speculation.
Stevens spoke to most of the players on the Celtics’ roster on Thursday, including Rondo, and the conversation went well. Rondo also seemed to have a pretty positive attitude about the hire from the moment he spoke to GM Danny Ainge.
“[Rondo said,] ‘Oh, Is that the guy that coached Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack?'” recounted Ainge, via ESPN Boston. “I go, ‘Yeah, yeah, that’s the guy.’ [Rondo said,] ‘Oh, yeah. That sounds great.'”
Stevens also seemed to glow about Rondo.
“I can’t wait to sit down with him,” Stevens said of Rondo at his press conference on Friday. “Because he’s not only a really good basketball player, he’s really intelligent, and you can see that in his game. And I think he’s got that, not only an intelligence about the way he plays, but also an instinctive ability to see the next play coming. You can see that on both ends of the floor.
“Combine that with a good competitive spirit, and you’ve really got what he’s been, and that’s a really, really good player, one of the best players in this league. I can’t wait to meet him. I can’t wait to spend time with him. I hope that he can feel like, at the end of the day, he’s learned a thing or two from me, but I’m guessing I’ll learn a lot more from him.”
In addition to the initial positive reports about the two, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe says Rondo is approaching the hire with a “completely open mind.”
Rondo has two years left on his current deal with Boston. CBS Sports says the Detroit Pistons expressed interest in Rondo in case the C’s makes him available. Detroit also agreed to a free agent deal with Josh Smith, so they’re being aggressive, but I don’t know if they have enough to interest Ainge.Google+