"We weren't close to trading him," Celtics president Danny Ainge said of point guard Rajon Rondo.
He admits to talking with rival teams about Rondo as well as a number of other Celtics players. Ainge is one of the few NBA executives bold enough to consider trading anyone on his roster. He is not afraid to expose himself by making an unpopular trade, and so the rumors of a surprise blockbuster involving Rondo emerged before the June draft amid reports that the Celtics were occasionally frustrated by their young point guard.
"When somebody calls, it's my job to find out what options we do have for all of the players," Ainge said.
The truth, however, is that the Celtics initiated some of the trade talk -- as several league sources have told me -- to help them gauge Rondo's value.
"There were conversations," Ainge acknowledged of trade talks involving Rondo, "because there are conversations with everybody. And why his conversations get brought up in the media and some other conversations don't is an interesting thing. Maybe because there were some draft picks involved and it was around draft time and all that."