Here's the full quote:
"We weren't going to trade Rondo," Ainge said flatly. "But I'm not going to bring someone in now who is just going to sit on the bench. We could sign a couple of players to minimum contracts, but that's all we can do right now. We have to see whether someone becomes available through trade or free agency who can actually crack our rotation.
"Right now I'm looking to give the guys we have a chance to play," he said. "Then we'll see what happens in the next few weeks."
I just don't understand the blow-it-up or trade-for-a-replacement talk that's taking over Twitter and fan forums last night and this morning. I can understand the hair trigger reaction of trying to trade for Kyle Lowry or bringing in a familiar free agent like Delonte West or another D-Leaguer, but the answers are in our own roster.
Last summer, Ainge signed a majority of our roster to long term contracts. He envisioned this team to be together for a long time (in NBA years). Sure, our most important playmaker is out for the season, but it's at the one position we happened to have the most depth in. People were clamoring for more playing time for Leandro Barbosa before Rondo's ill-fated ACL tear. Well, here's that opportunity. Had LB not been on our roster at the beginning of the year and was available via free agency, he'd be a perfect addition in Rondo's absence.
And then there's the matter of Courtney Lee, Avery Bradley, and Jason Terry. Prior to yesterday, a lot of their inconsistencies stemmed from a lack of playing time and more importantly, playmaking situations in the offense. Now with Rondo out, we'll see more opportunities for them (mainly Jet in pick-and-rolls). The silver lining in all this is that when Rondo returns next season, Lee and Bradley will be more seasoned. Murph's also got a very optimistic update on when RR will be back on the parquet:
Ainge expects Rondo back for start of training camp. PG's surgery expected to be scheduled in next 10 to 14 days.— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) January 28, 2013
Consider Derrick Rose's and Kendrick Perkins' recovery timeline. Perkins had surgery on July 7th, 2010 and played his first game January 25th, 2011. That's a shade under 7 months. Rose went down last season during the playoffs, went under the knife in mid-May, and is projected to return sometime before or after the All Star break. That's in the area of 10 months. Ricky Rubio is playing again and spent only nine months of the shelf. Training camp opens somwhere around the 1st of October. That's eight months and a very realistic expectation. Even the most pessimistic outlook has Rondo only missing the first month of the season, so all this talk that the injury affects not just this season but next is a little too doomsday for my taste.