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Knicks reportedly hoping to land Rajon Rondo

Rajon-Rondo-CelticsThe New York Knicks are heading in the wrong direction, and something drastic needs to be done if they want to keep Carmelo Anthony after this season. Anthony can opt out of his current deal when the season ends. There is no reason why he wouldn’t, though he has previously stated that he does not intent to leave New York in free agency. You have to wonder if his feelings will change if the Knicks miss the playoffs.

Bringing another star player to New York would certainly help the Knicks convince Anthony to stay. Could that player be Rajon Rondo? During the offseason, reports indicated that Carmelo was trying to convince the Knicks to trade for Rondo when it became clear that the Boston Celtics were blowing up their roster. Danny Ainge has said on numerous occasions that he plans to build around Rondo and not trade him, but he could be lying.

On Wednesday, ESPNNewYork.com’s Brian Windhorst reported that Rondo is still a priority for the Knicks. The Celtics point guard is no sure bet to return to action from an ACL injury before the Feb. 20 trade deadline, and he has just one year remaining on his contract after this season. Boston may be better off trading him now and capitalizing on New York’s apparent desperation.

Even if the Celtics don’t want to trade Rondo, Windhorst cited sources who claim the Knicks are hoping Rondo will pull the same move Anthony pulled in 2011 when he was traded to New York from the Denver Nuggets. Carmelo basically forced his way out of town, and it’s not inconceivable that Rondo would do the same.

If Rondo remains in Boston this season and next, the Knicks do not have to give up on him. They have the cap space to sign Rondo and another free agent from a pool that could include Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, Roy Hibbert and Tony Parker in 2015.

New York has options, but keeping Anthony is priority No. 1. We already know Carmelo wants to play with Rondo. The ability or inability to pry Rondo away from the Celtics could help determine Anthony’s future in the Big Apple.

Rajon Rondo went to Game 2 of the World Series and froze his a– off

Rajon Rondo Red Sox

So Steve DelVecchio told me it’s been cold out in Boston and that Game 2 wouldn’t have been a fun night to attend because of the weather. This picture definitely confirms it.

That’s Rajon Rondo — or what’s left of his face after he covered it up with a hood and beanie-looking face warmer thing — at Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night. Rajon was sitting on top of the Green Monster in left field, which probably exposed him to more of the cold since it’s higher up and there were so few people surrounding him. Worst part of all? The team lost. How much does it stink to spend all this time outside freezing your butt off only to see your team lose?

If a dog like this can tough it out, I guess Rondo should be able to handle it.

Photo: Twitter/Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo could miss first month of the season

Rajon-Rondo-CelticsThe Boston Celtics will have an entirely new look when the 2013-2014 season tips off. Veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry have all moved on to the Brooklyn Nets. In addition, the timetable for Rajon Rondo’s return from ACL surgery remains unclear.

Rondo is expected to be the leader of the Celtics and the core of the franchise. Naturally, many are wondering how he is going to get along with new head coach Brad Stevens. According to CSNNE.com’s A. Sherrod Blakely, we may not find out until after the first month of the season.

[Related: Rajon Rondo sounds interested in playing for Brad Stevens]

When listing his potential starting five for the Celtics’ regular season opener, Blakely speculated that Rondo could miss about a month before returning. Rondo suffered a torn ACL on Jan. 25. We have all seen how long it has taken Derrick Rose to recover from a similar injury, so it would be a surprise if Rondo is fully recovered less than a year after blowing out his knee.

Boston GM Danny Ainge insists the team is not going to tank games and rebuild. If that’s the case, the first month of the season could be important for Stevens to set the tone. Ideally, Rondo won’t miss more than a month. The Celtics will have enough trouble winning games as is with their revamped roster, let alone trying to keep their heads above water without their best player.

Pistons interested in Rajon Rondo, don’t want to give up Andre Drummond

Rajon-Rondo-CelticsRajon Rondo may claim he is looking forward to playing for new Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, but that does not mean teams around the NBA are going to stop inquiring about him. According to the Boston Globe, the Detroit Pistons are interested in making an offer for Rondo but may not have the pieces to get a deal done.

Actually, they have the pieces but are not willing to part ways with them.

The Celtics would presumably ask for emerging center Andre Drummond, who is as close to untouchable as a younger player can get. Detroit would like to send the Celtics Brandon Knight and an expiring contract, but that wouldn’t be nearly enough. Detroit doesn’t have a first-round pick to offer because of the Ben Gordon deal that gave the Bobcats the choice of a Pistons draft pick over the next four seasons

Drummond averaged 7.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in his rookie season with the Pistons last year. He has the size and strength to become a dominant center in the NBA and is only 19 years old, so you can understand why Detroit would have no interest in trading him.

[Related: Rajon Rondo says he is not a coach killer]

You can also see why Boston would demand a package of top-quality talent and draft picks if they did decide to trade Rondo. The 27-year-old is a double-double machine, and if he comes back healthy from ACL surgery he should continue to be one of the best point guards in the NBA.

Personally, I’m not buying the whole Rondo being excited to play for Stevens thing. It may sound great now, but if the Celtics play poorly I believe it will only be a matter of time before Rondo wants out of town.

H/T Eye on Basketball

Rajon Rondo reportedly says he is not a coach killer

Rajon-Rondo-Improved-ShootingRajon Rondo’s highly competitive nature has helped turn him into one of the best point guards in the NBA, but his stubbornness has also made him difficult to coach.

Rondo has developed a reputation for being tough to coach and does not disagree with the label. There was some speculation that Doc Rivers wanted to leave the Boston Celtics in part because of his difficulties handling Rondo. And when Brad Stevens was named as the new Celtics head coach, many instantly speculated that Rondo would be traded.

Only GM Danny Ainge knows if Rondo will be traded, but what we do know is that Rondo doesn’t like being billed as a coach killer.

Former Celtics player and current C’s broadcaster Cedric Maxwell told Yahoo! Sports Radio about a private phone conversation he had with Rondo on July 4.

“On the Fourth of July, I happened to be walking on one of the beaches of Boston, ran into Rajon Rondo’s brother, had him give Rondo a call and I spoke to Rondo personally about this,” Maxwell told Yahoo! Sports Radio. “Rondo said to me, ‘Look, I am not a coach-killer,’ so I think that he wants to get in here, he wants to work hard, he wants to get along with the coach, and he feels like he’s been put into an unfair picture of being such a hard, difficult guy to coach.”

Maxwell admits that Rondo is stubborn and tough to coach, and he thinks that is partially because Rondo entered the league with a chip on his shoulder after falling in the draft.

[Related: Rajon Rondo sounds interested in playing for Brad Stevens]

Whether Rondo is a coach killer or not will likely be manifested this season. His relationship with Stevens will be one of the interesting storylines to watch throughout the year. But as we told you before, and based on what Maxwell says, it seems like Rondo wants to prove people wrong.

Carmelo Anthony reportedly wanted New York Knicks to trade for Rajon Rondo

Kobe-Bryant-Carmelo-AnthonyWith all the salary cap space the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to have in 2014 after losing Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets, there has been some speculation that they could make a run at a big name free agent like Carmelo Anthony. Anthony and Bryant have a close relationship, and there have been some rumblings that ‘Melo is not thrilled with the direction of the New York Knicks.

One of those rumblings came from Marc Berman of the NY Post, who claims Anthony was hoping the Knicks would try to trade for Rajon Rondo when it became clear the Boston Celtics were blowing up their roster. According to Berman, Carmelo feels Rondo would be the “perfect piece” in New York and would be extra motivated to get the best of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who are now with the Brooklyn Nets.

For now, it appears that Boston is planning to build around Rondo and new head coach Brad Stevens. By re-signing JR Smith, the Knicks may not have left themselves with enough money to pursue any significant outside free agents. New York did trade for Andrea Bargnani last month, but it doesn’t sound like that is a move Anthony believes will bring the team to the next level.

Simply put, it appears the Knicks have to build a championship contender right now to keep Anthony around after next season. That could mean bringing in Rondo or another impact player, or it could mean rolling the dice with what they currently have. Either way, don’t expect Anthony to feel any type of loyalty toward New York if the Knicks underachieve again next year.

But Kobe and Carmelo on the same team, with the way they both love launching up shots? I can’t see that happening.

H/T SB Nation

Rajon Rondo sounds interested in playing for Brad Stevens

Rajon RondoAs 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.