I feel compelled to point out the difference between rumor and conjecture, in particular with Chad Ford's rumors from yesterday.
Most of the trade details he speaks about are his educated guesses of how teams could accomplish their goals with the assets they have. He uses the rumors he's heard to piece these ideas together. It is a little like drawing a connect-the-dots picture when you only have about half the dots (if that).
So lets step back and review the actual rumors that Ford reports:
we keep hearing their name more and more in conjunction with a top-to-mid first-round draft pick
This is the underlying fact of this year's rumor season. Ainge sees an opportunity to pick up a talented player high in the draft because several teams are in selling mode.
While various sources have different players pegged, there seems to be some consensus that one player in particular -- Memphis' Tyreke Evans -- is an Ainge favorite.
There are "different players pegged" so Danny probably sees value in more than one player. "There seems to be some consensus" that Evans is his favorite. I wonder how much of that is because of where Danny thinks he can make a trade. The Clips don't seem to be listening to offers for Griffin. I'd love to see Danny's draft board someday - even after the fact. It would tell a lot about his evaluation process.
For the next rumor, you have to skip down several paragraphs.
Key point here: Danny isn't offering Rondo. The Kings want Rondo. If I were the Kings, I'd want Rondo too. Only makes sense. We don't know how the rest of that conversation went but it sounds like Ainge wouldn't be willing to give up Rondo for the pick (good!).
And that's it. Those are all the rumors Ford mentioned in particular. The rest are his ideas and some hypothetical questions he poses. He also blends these rumors and ideas with rumors he's heard surrounding other teams. We've all heard that the Griz aren't a great fit for Rubio and are open to trade talk and we've already heard that the Wizards are looking to deal the pick for some kind of cap relief. But neither of those rumors has (yet) been associated with the Celtics except by deductive reasoning.
Bottom line: We know Ainge is looking hard at several options. He's a busy man this time of year and we're likely going to hear plenty more rumors in the weeks ahead. After his offseason a couple years ago, he's pretty much got a lifetime pass from me (though last offseason was less than impressive). I am confident he's got a plan. I may not agree with that plan, but we'll have to see how it all shakes out before I can say if I like it or not.
As for these rumors: Just remember one constant rule about rumors and the weeks leading up to the draft. Everyone lies. There's some truth out there, but there's a lot of misdirection and flat out deception going on. So take all of this with a grain of salt. Enjoy the debates but don't get too worried about it until something actually happens.
Here are some more reactions around the web to these rumors (in case you missed them in the Daily Links)
Ray Allen for Tyreke Evans? Really? | Celtics Hub
"The Celtics are exploring the possibility of trading Ray Allen and his expiring $19 million plus contract to a team in the top five of the draft"
Just My Opinion on the Trade Rumors
"First there were the rumors that had Ray and Rondo going to Phoenix for Amare. Now come the rumors from Chad Ford that has Ray and possibly Rondo going to Grizzlies, Thunder, Kings or Wizards for Tyreke Evans, who is a projected lottery pick."
Tyreke Evans: Is He Worth Trading Up For?
"Evans, who will be highly sought after before, during, and after Draft day, has been projected to be picked early in the first round. Some have him as high as the fifth and sixth pick."
Rumor: Cs trading for #2 pick?
"In case you haven’t heard, the Cs are kicking the tires on making a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies for the #2 pick in this year’s draft."