There are lots of assumptions in Danny's latest comments about Rajon Rondo, his "best player": 1) that Rondo will be with the Celtics next season, 2) Rondo wants to stay with the Celtics, and 3) Ainge is talking so I'll take everything with a grain of salt. Here are his comments (read between the lines if you like):
"I think Rondo’s going to have a great year next year," Ainge said. "I think he’s going to have the best year of his career. Watching Rondo right now and watching him develop as a player I feel like he’s headed towards the best year of his career." Rondo has been mentioned several times in trade rumors this season. When asked if there was a good possibility Rondo would be with the Celtics next year, Ainge said, "Of course."
When asked if he has spoken with Rondo about the guard’s long-term future in Boston, Ainge said: "Listen, I tell everybody the same, whether it’s KG [Kevin Garnett], Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, whatever, I really love and respect all the guys but I can’t ever promise anybody that [a trade] won’t happen. That’s not my job. My job is not assure them [they’re staying] but to do what I think is best for the Celtics. I don’t have an intention or plan [to trade Rondo] but I can never make that sort of promise.
"I don’t know who’s going to be in a Celtics uniform. We have a lot of work to do this summer. I think Rondo is our best player."
I believe Danny when he says that Rondo is the best player on the team, but the bigger question is whether he's the best player for this team. I've been one of Rondo's biggest supporters since he returned from almost a year of rehab and came back in near triple-double form, but the team has drastically changed since he's been gone. Garnett and Pierce are no longer here. Doc is in Los Angeles. The team is rebuilding. Do the Celtics need a ball-heavy point guard in Brad Stevens' share-the-ball offense? Is it telling that rookie point guard Phil Pressey is 6-4 as a starter? What about this summer's picks? There are point guards in our draft range and Rondo could bring in quite a booty on the market. It's all food for thought as we close out the season tomorrow.