The summer isn't over yet, so there's still plenty of time for fireworks of some kind to get lit. You never know what moves around the league could open opportunities for Danny Ainge to exploit somehow. However, all signs indicate that the Celtics and Wolves aren't any closer to a Kevin Love deal and according to multiple reports, the Celtics aren't in any hurry to trade Rajon Rondo.
That isn't to say that they wouldn't trade him. If the right deal comes along and the team doesn't think they can reboot the team around him fast enough, then Ainge won't hesitate to pull the trigger. But nobody is going to rush Danny into a deal for less than market value.
One of the reasons the Celtics are said to want to acquire a high-profile player now is that it would keep them from having to take Rajon Rondo to the market. There are certainly teams around the league that covet the All-Star point guard, but three general managers said yesterday the Celts would struggle to get full value for Rondo at this time. But while the first order of business for the Celtics is to find a star to pair with Rondo, the present situation indicates that if they did have to look more seriously into another home for the 2015 free agent, they will wait into next season to do so.
Chris Mannix agrees.
"I think the Celtics are inclined to wait until at least the season starts, mid-way point of the season, trade deadline to start seriously fielding offers," explained Mannix. "Because then Rondo's value will be at it's highest. If it does get back to that level, where he is a top five, six, seven type of point guard, you can expect to try to get a legitimate starter at another position returned plus some draft considerations."
As for Rondo himself, he doesn't feel too threatened by the fact that the team just drafted a point guard.
But Rondo said he doesn't believe he needs to hear any assurances from Ainge about his role on the Celtics.
"No. That's fine," Rondo said, adding, "I don't have too many feelings involved in this business. I've played my heart out for the game, but business is business. I can be here today, gone tomorrow. You never know. For me to get bent out of shape, or to feel threatened by the Celtics drafting a point guard, it means nothing."
Obviously he's not going to start banging on tables and demanding a trade, so what else would you expect him to say? Still, he sounds like a mature veteran that is taking things in stride the best he can. Obviously he'd prefer to be catching a game at Fenway with a new All Star teammate or something like that. But if it doesn't happen, his best option is simply to play well next season and improve either his trade value or his value on the open market.
So basically everyone is chill right now. Nobody is hitting the panic button. It is, after all, still just July 8th and there is a long time between now and the opening of training camp.
There's even more time between now and the trade deadline. Is it possible that the Celtics could head into next year with their current roster mostly intact? Sure. Would that team be competitive? Maybe for a playoff spot in the East, but not for a Championship (barring some amazing leaps and bounds by young players).
I'm still holding out hope for fireworks of some sort, but I'm also prepared for a quiet offseason and another year of rebuilding slowly. The process isn't always pretty and it doesn't "sell copy" (or clicks) when patience is being preached. But I'd rather sit and wait for the next shoe than to be hit over the head with a bad transaction forced by an impatient GM.
Right now we've got a 3 guard rotation of Rondo, Bradley, and Smart. That allows Smart to ease into the league and try his hand at both positions. We've got Sullinger and Olynyk both a year older. With Humphries apparently out the door that could give them both greater opportunities to play and work on their games. We pretty much know what we've got with Jeff Green and Brandon Bass at this point, but that's not a bad thing. Vitor Faverani will hopefully get healthy and reboot his brief Celtics career. Plus there are other rookies (including James Young and last year's 2nd rounder Colton Iverson) and summer league standouts that could be in the rotation this year .
So there's plenty of work to do even if the fireworks turned out to be duds.
Of course, a lot can change in a few days when free agents can sign on the dotted line. So stay tuned (as if I need to tell you).