Ainge: 'Rondo knows that we love him'

by: Paul Flannery on Thu, 12/01/2011 - 12:25pm

WALTHAM -- It's one of the quirks of the process toward ratifying a new collective bargaining agreement that team management still isn't allowed to to talk to its players. So when word leaked out that the Celtics had discussions with New Orleans about a trade involving Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo, the team hasn't been able to talk to its point guard.

"I’ll talk to Rondo. Rondo will be fine," team president Danny Ainge said. "Rondo knows that we love him. He’s excited to come back and play basketball. He gets a lot of attention. He’s a great player. There’s a lot of people that call me and ask me about Rondo. How these rumors get out is unfortunate but we didn’t leak those rumors out and we’ll deal with it. He’ll be fine."

Ainge said that he doesn't "anticipate" trading any of his four All-Stars, but he has never been one to declare anyone off-limits, either. Rondo is the Celtics' best trade chip in that he's young, talented and working under one of the best long-term contracts in the league.

"There’s a reason when whatever this thing leaked out, it was all over the news," Doc Rivers said. "It’s because the players they were talking about are both really good. Rondo has established that with his play. He is a great basketball player and he does so many things for our team. He should be flattered, in a way, that this is news." 

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