Thursday, June 26, 2014

Danny Ainge says drafting Smart doesn't mean he's trading Rondo

Heading into Thursday nights NBA draft. Rondo was going to the Kings, and another rumor came from nowhere with the Celtics dealing Rondo to the Lakers for the 7th pick. Another draft has come and gone with Rondo still in green, but with the Celtics drafting Smart. A point guard at the 6th pick. Some question Danny's motive, and why shouldn't we?

"[Smart's] a very versatile player," Ainge said. "Easily those guys can play together. I think they would really thrive playing together, all of them."

Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck and head coach Brad Stevens also addressed questions about Rondo's future after Boston made their first round selections.

“That wasn’t a topic of conversation tonight,” Grousbeck said when asked about how Smart might fit in with Rondo and Avery Bradley. “We have confidence in Brad that he can manage a roster. We also had confidence in the top six, we were going to take the best available rather than slot in. That’s a strategy when you are rebuilding a team, you take the best available athlete and let it all work out. We got an All-Star point guard so that’s not the question here.”

Grousbeck added later: “I don’t think this has any impact on Rajon at all.”

Some believe it's a move that will aid the possible loss of Bradley. Perhaps, but I fear the worst with Ainge sometimes. I was fearing Smart in green, but it seems like he was the best player around at number six for Boston.

Some further words from ESPN Boston on Rondo and Smart working together.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was emphatic when asked if the team intended to move forward with Rondo, offering a firm, one-word reply: "Yes."

Asked if Rondo and Smart can coexist on the floor, Ainge added: "Absolutely. No question. And [Smart] and Avery. No question. He’s a very versatile player. He can play off the ball. He can handle the ball. With his length and his size, he can probably play against a lot of small forwards -- 6-3, long wingspan, 230 pounds. He’s a very versatile player. Easily those guys can play together, and I think they would really thrive playing together, all of them."

Ainge's sentiments were echoed by coach Brad Stevens.

"I don’t think there’s any doubt. I think [Smart and Rondo] can play together," said Stevens. "I think it will be great for Marcus to have a guy like Rondo to look up to, to learn from. Not many guys get that opportunity, especially early on in the draft like this. Marcus is another guy that I was thrilled that he was there at 6, because, physically, he’s ready to play, and he competes every single minute of every single day. That will do nothing but help your team, regardless of what position he’s playing. I expect him to play some off the ball. I expect him to play some with the ball. But he’s a young guy. He’s going to be playing with a guy there that’s been in the league for a long time, that can really help him learn about it. I think it’s great. I think it’ll be great for both of them."


  1. He potentially could push Rondo to compete. We all know that this is one of Rondo's problems - he tends to tune out a lot.

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