Stevens on Rondo: "nothing with certainty. I get the feeling it will be sooner rather than later." Said possibly this week but doesn't know— Jay King (@ByJayKing) January 13, 2014
He won't suit up tonight, but he's getting close. There was Rondo's self-proposed timetable of coming back before the All Star break and then Marc Spears' report that he was targeting January 17th against the rival Lakers. Today, Stevens offered a cryptic "sooner rather than later" suggestion to Rondo's much anticipated return. And even though Ainge has reiterated over and over again that Rondo will take his time with his rehab and more importantly, that Rondo is a part of the future of the franchise, his imminent comeback will start the rumor mill churning. This, from Chad Ford's Tank Rank:
Rajon Rondo could be that building block. But he turns 28 in February, has posed chemistry issues in the past and there is an increasing belief among NBA circles that GM Danny Ainge will use him, once healthy, to get multiple assets back. So the chances that he's the Celtics' cornerstone moving forward look slim.
Sounds like speculation and I'm sure Ainge would like to see how Rondo performs and gels with the current roster before he makes any rash decisions about his All Star point guard. But let's remember: Kendrick Perkins played just 12 games for Boston after he bounced back from his ACL tear before he was traded to OKC. The circumstances were different at the time, but you can never be too surprised with what Trader Danny could pull off. If another sweetheart deal comes across the table (for example, a trade that might include a lottery pick and another team taking on the remaining years of Gerald Wallace's contract), Ainge would have to consider it.