It has been a hard, long year and a half for Rajon Rondo. First rehabbing his knee, then watching his team get blown apart, then watching helplessly as it toils through a difficult season, then getting back on the court but unable to will his team to victory on most nights. That has to take a toll on a fierce competitor like Rondo.
As the season winds down, Rondo (like all the players) is thinking about the uncertain future. In particular since Ainge and the ownership has promised that they'll pursue "fireworks" this summer (albeit in a patient, deliberate sort of way).
"You can [see the progress] but then again, who will be here next year?" Rondo said. "You [the reporter] might not even be here. They might trade you this season. It depends. I think there are some things you can take from this team. We have a young team, a lot of guys that are playing well every night, but we’re not sealing the deal as a team collectively, but there are some things you can take individually from each guy and stay positive."
While there is uncertainty and there is a chance that Rondo himself could be moved in a trade, it sounds like he wants to stay in Boston and be an active part in the decision making process going forward.
And while it remains highly unlikely, he could be traded — if he were to make designs on the door, Rondo could motivate the Celts to do so and assure themselves something in return for their best player. But that last scenario couldn’t be further from fruition. Rondo has continued to express his desire to be a major part of the renaissance. He would even like to contribute to Ainge’s offseason process in any way he can. "I want to be involved in what’s going on," Rondo said, "especially if I’m part of the future here. "Me being the point guard, I would like to know what the team has in store or wants to do and moves it wants to make, so I think I’ll be around Boston this summer, and I look forward to what’s going to happen."
Assistant GM Rajon? I wouldn't put it past him. What I've heard about Danny Ainge is that he'll listen to anyone on his staff because he values their opinions. He makes up his own mind at the end of the day, but he wants honest input from everyone. I think that same kind of respect would flow down to the coach and even to his star player(s). We know that Pierce and Garnett at least campaigned Ainge for players in the past and it sounds like he had an open mind about that.
It is interesting too that Rondo will spend a lot of time in Boston this summer. That might be a sign of how much he's putting down his roots there. He'll have a long offseason (one of the few benefits of missing the playoffs) and he has said that he'll take some weeks to rest and then get working on a full offseason of conditioning.
As a Rondo fan, I'm hoping that he's here for the long haul. I'm also hoping that the team can surround him with some star quality players in the not-too-distant future. Maybe even this summer.