For sale, but not on sale.
General Managers are like stock brokers. They have to know when to buy (low) and when to sell (high). You can't let a bullish run blind you to a stock's poor financial numbers. Or to put it in basketball terms, you can't let the thrill of a winning streak cover over some fundamental flaws. On the flipside, you can't let a losing streak create a panic move.
The next couple of weeks will tell us exactly how Danny is evaluating this team. Not the games, per se. In theory, if Danny has already decided (as rumored) that this team can't compete, the team could win all the games between now and the trade deadline and Ainge would still be willing to trade anybody and everybody if necessary. But only and always for a price.
Ainge has good assets and he knows it. He's also got a prime opportunity to rebuild this offseason if he doesn't do anything (or doesn't add unnecessary salary). So he has zero motivation to sell off his assets for less than what they are worth. Which leads to the logical question: What are they worth to Danny? Nobody but Ainge knows that but here's one rumor that gives us a clue.
Yet for all the talk of Boston point guard Rajon Rondo possibly being traded, some league executives have shooting guard and free-agent-to-be Ray Allen pegged as the most likely to be moved. Sources say the Clippers are interested, having lost Chauncey Billups to season-ending injury and lost out to New York in the J.R. Smith sweepstakes. But the price is likely too high, as Boston wants a package that includes a young talent and a draft pick. The Clippers don't have the latter component, though, and there's a bit of irony involved as to why. Their 2012 first-round pick went to Oklahoma City in a deal for point guard Eric Bledsoe, and was then moved to Boston in the trade that sent center Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder. The Clippers also had Minnesota's unprotected 2012 first-rounder, but gave it to New Orleans in the Chris Paul trade.
Ray is likely the easiest guy to trade and would likely bring back the least amount in return. Yet the price being put out there on him is a package of young talent AND a pick. I can't evaluate every other team in the league and their needs, but I find it hard to believe that they'll be giving up that kind of package for our aging stars.
But that won't stop the rumors from churning. Even when Rondo puts in a historical statisitcal night, the whispers and wondering continues.
How could the Celtics ever justify trading Rajon Rondo after he produced an outrageous triple-double of 20 assists, 18 points and 17 rebounds? Or maybe that is the wrong question. Perhaps now is the perfect time to move Rondo, following a 115-111 overtime win over the Knicks in which he made the kind of sensational impact that neither Jeremy Lin nor any other currently employed point guard could make on an NBA game.
Yeah, this isn't going to stop until March 15 folks. Sorry.