Update: ...and just like that, the rumor gets shot down
That was quick. But then again, I think we've heard this story before. Remember this?
There's simply too much smoke here for there not to be some kind of kindling smoldering in Waltham. Yesterday it was revealed that he Hornets were open to trading Chris Paul but wouldn't want Rondo as the main trade bait - they'd rather have a package of picks and low cost young players. In fact, Ric Bucher confirmed late last night via twitter that they have "better offers" if it comes to it. If the Celtics want Chris Paul, they'll need to involve a 3rd team to get it done.
This morning, Adrian Wojnarowski reports that one possible fit is the Pacers.
As Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge aggressively pursues possible deals for Rajon Rondo(notes), the Indiana Pacers have emerged as an intriguing suitor for the point guard, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. For the past few days, Pacers officials – and third-party surrogates – have been making calls and gathering information and insight into Rondo’s reputation as a teammate and leader, sources said. The Pacers and Celtics have discussed the preliminary framework of a deal, but two sources said Indiana would need a third team to provide Boston with the talent it wants to do a deal. The Celtics are likely trying to gather the necessary pieces to make a bid for Ainge’s ultimate target: New Orleans point guard Chris Paul, sources said.
As noted in the article, there are just too many rumors floating out there for there to be no truth to this. The Celtics have been "open to ideas" for years now on Rondo. At what point does keeping an open mind become "shopping" him? Of course, why would they ever say they were shopping him? In particular since he's such a (reportedly) sensitive, moody kind of guy. In fact, Bucher reports that the Celtics are already doing damage control with Rajon.
Still, if these talks fall through, you have to wonder about our young star point guard's psyche going forward. His best friend on the team was traded last year (and he was dissed by the Pres. - I guess) and he went into a funk. He snapped back to give a heroic-type performance with one arm in the playoffs, but can he sluff off repeated rumors about his future in Boston?
Update: More fuel to the "Boston wants to dump Rondo" fire. A mind numbing rumor from after the playoffs:
Ainge reportedly offered to trade Rondo, along with Jeff Green, to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins following the playoffs last season, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard.
So basically Ainge said "hey, can we get a do-over on that last trade - and by the way, can we swap franchise PG's too?" Apparently Presti politely declined. Incredible (if true). I don't even know what else to say.