The last time the Boston Celtics were picking in the lottery, they wound up dealing their pick away to acquire guard Ray Allen from the Seattle Supersonics (Oklahoma City Thunder) and later traded then promising young big man Al Jefferson in a package to acquire Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Garnett.
The Celtics were back in the lottery this season and many thought they would deal their sixth-overall pick and the 17th-overall pick, which they acquired from the Brooklyn Nets, to land another star. Instead, they spent the picks on former Oklahoma State Cowboys’ point guard Marcus Smart and former Kentucky Wildcats’ swingman James Young.
The drafting of Smart has led many to believe the Celtics are readying to trade point guard Rajon Rondo, but that does not seem to be the case.
According to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald, citing sources, the Celtics want to add an All-Star caliber player to the roster while keeping Rondo.
But sources said repeatedly that choice No. 1 is to find an impact player to pair with Rondo, though that appears quite a longshot. The Timberwolves haven’t taken their bait on Love, and Ainge hasn’t been able to get involved in other major scenarios.
Time, however, remains on their side. The word is strong that the Celtics will look at all possible Rondo deals, and if nothing is to their liking, they would rather risk seeing him walk away as a free agent and take the salary cap benefit.
Rondo was limited just 30 games while returning from his ACL injury and averaged 11.7 points, 9.8 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. He shot 40.3% from the field, 28.9% from beyond the arc and 62.7% from the free throw line. Love averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game last season while shooting 45.7% from the field, 37.6% from three and 82.1% from the charity stripe.