Sunday, August 17, 2014

Twitter Wars Over Rondo Trade

Twitter being what it is, one has to take anything said there, in the twitter-verse,  with almost as much salt as one should add to what is gleaned from the  lame-stream-media.  A couple of weeks ago, I made much of a series of twitter reports from something called KHTK Sports Callers (seemingly associated with a CBS radio affiliate in Sacramento), which suggested that the Kings were working hard to put together linked deals to pick up Josh Smith from Detroit and Rondo from the Celtics.  Now KHTK Sports Callers is saying that both deals are off...
Am told BOS are unwilling to part with Rondo. SAC staying put with roster as is, into the season. DET/SAC trade now also off table.
This accords well with what seems to be the blog and media consensus around the Celtics, and also with the recent uptick of pro-Rondo stories;  there seems to be a growing consensus around the idea that the Cs will hold onto Rondo at least long enough for him to - it is hoped - play up his trade value by proving that he has fully recovered from his ACL injury.  Nonetheless,  there is an internet(?) radio guy, T. Spence from San Fransisco(?), who disagrees with this consensus and with KHTK ...
Source: Sacramento Kings/Boston Celtics deal now at "80 percent" to be completed before season. Deal includes McLemore, Williams for Rondo
T.Spence seems to have even less credibility than KHTK, so I suppose he should be considered the loser in this Twitter litter showdown over Rondo.   Spence and KHTK could both be making up their reports, or basing them on bogus 'sources' (eg, my cousin at the bar says xyz;  I'm going to reference him as a "source" and report what he says...).  I think it's just as likely, though,  that teams use various mouthpieces in the media (and quasi-media, and pseudo-media)  to send out various different messages. Both the Kings and the Celtics organizations might have reasons to try to build up some buzz around a possible deal.  Both might have reasons to quash such buzz.  Both might have reasons going both ways.

Bloggers and sources seemingly close to the Celtics (Doc, Dooling, Noeling, CelticsBlog) have been creating some buzz that Rondo is great and is  about to have a great season.  I hope they are right.  I would love to see that.  I don't see a great Rondo season happening for the Celtics, though, unless Rondo and Smart really develop tremendous chemistry right away.  Can you imagine how cool it is going to be for those privileged enough  to watch those two go at it in training camp?  There is going to be a huge battle for dominance, surely.  Two such ultra competitive guys  ...  i could see them staying after practice and playing one on one all night.  I could see them hating each other, but I could also see them becoming  two guys who understand each other and play really well together.  Who knows?

But given that most commentors seem to think that the most likely outcome of the current situation between Rondo and the Celtics will be Rondo getting traded by the trade deadline, what is his motivation to extend to his full potential this year?  A lot of folks seem to be saying that he has a lot to prove, and they are probably right, but at the same time, why would he want to make it easier for Danny to rip off the team he then has to go and play for?  As I see it, Rondo's not the sort of person who is motivated by money alone.  He wants to be on a good team that is fighting for something.  Sacramento does seem to be a team that either really wants Rondo, or wants to look like it wants Rondo (to please fans, to please Shaq, whatever).  I would think that the notion of being on a team that actually wants him has to be growing on Rondo.  The situation he has been in with Danny has to be so old by now.  Several years into the putative 'Rondo Era', Danny has kept Rondo perpetually alert to the rumbling of the Ainge Express,  and perpetually frustrated (surely) as the churning of players continues.  Has Danny even had any real conversations with Rondo about what kind of players Rondo wants to see coming to the Cs?  Apparently he made quite a point, if anything, of excluding Rondo from draft deliberations.  I would guess that he has been pretty much excluding Rondo in general from giving serious input into brass-level decisions.  Why wouldn't Rondo be thinking right now about being on a team that actually wants to build around him, that actually wants to bring in players he wants to play with.  If he's thinking about any of that, why would he be extremely motivated to play hard enough early in this coming season to significantly raise his trade value?  The more Sacramento - for example -  gives up for Rondo, the less Rondo has to work with once he is in Sacramento, for example.  He doesn't want to go from a gutted team that is beginning to recover to a newly gutted team!

I think the best time for Ainge to trade Rondo is now, but I think Danny is going to play Danny in the Manger, not really wanting to build around Rondo, but not wanting to let anyone else build around him either.


One of the things that I find really annoying is that people continue to give Rondo a hard time for the team's bad performance last year.  I find that so crazy and hypocritical too.   Last year was a tank year.  That means that even if you are a big fan of advanced metrics, and all that jazz, you have to recognize that all metrics are off.  During a tanking year, the goal is to lose not win, and everyone knows this, regardless of what they say. How can that possibly not change the meaning of every method you use to describe and measure performance? People complained about Pressey leading the team to wins and curse Rondo for not leading the team to wins.  It's absurd and it's hypocritical.


Another thing that annoys me is that Rondo is regularly condemned for the fact that the Celtics have not performed well offensively under his leadership during the past two seasons.  Part of what is annoying about this is the obvious thing, that both seasons were wrecked by Rondo's ACL injury, so how can they be used to take the measure of where he is at as a player?  The other thing about it that annoys me is that it is looking at the situation the wrong way around, in my opinion.  Rondo is the best playmaker in the league, and maybe one of the best ever.  There's no serious question about that.  The only question that really should matter right now is how do you build a team around him, how do you make the most of his ability?  Fans and commentators continue to insist on putting the emphasis on the wrong place.  They question whether Rondo can run a great offense, rather than question whether the Celtics can build an offense around Rondo.  The closet they come to this is complaining that Rondo isn't a good fit for the current team.


Another thing that annoys me is that we keep hearing that the reason Danny wouldn't take certain  players in a Rondo trade is that we are already stacked at particular positions.  For example, we are told that Ainge wouldn't trade Rondo for Mclemore because Mclemore is a shooting guard and we have a plethora of those already.  Do some of these folks ever think about whether the things they say are consistent at all?  They have watched Danny as Danny has brought in piles of players, without any apparent thought as to whether we needed those players, and they have praised him for it.   They have said that he is stockpiling 'assets'.   Nor did anyone, for the most part,  complain when Danny selected a pg in the draft, even though we obvisously had no ostensible need there.  They praised this move as yet another brilliant play, stockpiling assets.  Some seemed to think that it was a particularly great move because it turned Rondo into a more expendable 'asset'.  Note that players are always thought of not as people but as 'assets', to be 'flipped', often for more 'assets'.    The thing is, it's only when it comes to trading Rondo that we suddenly hear that the only players we should acquire are players who fill positions of need.


For those who have forgotten, Rondo and Shaq (now part owner of the Kings) developed a bit of a bond while Shaq was with the Celtics...

Folks are always looking for Rondo lookalikes.  Well here's one:  Tricky.

Steven Kyler has jumped into the Rondo Trade twitter war, saying that both the Celtics and Kings strongly deny that there are any Rondo negotiations going on....

Text messages from both sides of this adamantly denied a Rondo to Kings deal was on the table or under consideration.

Fwiw (maybe not much), Spence is sticking to his guns,  and seems to be escalating,  adding the startling claim that the Celtics are wanting to add Jeff Green to the Rondo deal, somehow.  That says to me that either the Cs want Rudy Gay (remember, Danny almost did a swap for Gay recently), or that Detroit is in on what could turn out to be a three team deal.  I'm not sure what Detroit has that the Celtics want, but I imagine that they would love to turn Josh Smith into Jeff Green.  If Danny is set on stockpiling 'assets', and churning them, as he seems to be, and thus maybe producing another tank year to go after a Big in next year's draft, as well,  he might want Jennings and picks?  Maybe Sacramento could find a way to take Wallace and swallow his contract?


  1. Hands down one of the best articles I've seen in a while. Love the videos added as well. How can anyone blame Rondo for last year? He played all of 30 games? The Celtics were already out of the playoff picture, with a glim hope in the East.

  2. And he essentially led the league in assists, again! Ty Ben - just figured out how to do videos, so I guess I have to do twenty...

  3. I do think the Rondo-Shaq videos tell a story. Guys like Danny and Brad Stevens are trying to be like the latest championship winners. I think a guy like Shaq has his own ideas and doesn't have to try to imitate others. I think he thinks that if you put Rondo together with Cousins, it could be magical. Then Danny and Brad will have another model to imitate.