action:article | category:SPORTS0201 | adString:SPORTS0201 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Basketball » Celtics/NBA

December 20. 2013 6:19PM

Celts ready but not desperate to deal

The Celtics, simply because of the way they have been deconstructed, are going to be mentioned whenever the next wave of trade rumors breaks.

As of Friday, Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee — both part of the alleged package of players and picks Danny Ainge was willing to send to Houston for center Omer Asik — remained Celtics.

The Celtics president of basketball operations still has that brimming collection of first-round picks — nine over the next five years — to use as sweetener in any prospective deal. Considering the NBA trade deadline is two months away on Feb. 20, Ainge's busy winter has only started.

But for now Ainge's team is unchanged, just as the Houston roster still includes a certain disgruntled 7-footer. Houston general manager Daryl Morey's attempt at creating a market for Asik failed to launch Thursday.

Depending on who is doing the talking, the Celtics have the best chance of landing the talented defender, who made it clear he does not want to spend the entire season as Dwight Howard's backup.

But Morey, who needed to complete a trade by today to have any chance of trading away any players he acquires in this deal by the trading deadline, pulled Asik temporarily off the market, according to numerous national reports.

And that development has left people with the Celtics scratching their heads. According to a team source, there has been little contact between the Celtics and Rockets over the last week, though Ainge did contact the agents for Bass and Lee to give them the organization's take on negotiations.

Though Ainge clearly could have been waiting for Morey to change his demands — one of the Celtics' two 2014 first-rounders was thought to be the Houston GM's target — most of the recent effort seems to have been generated by Houston.

The front office for the Celtics was wondering yesterday how the most-recent rumor gained so much momentum. Talks, according to the source, were never particularly close.

The Celtics also appear to be content to wait for Rajon Rondo's eventual return from knee surgery — most likely next month — if for no other reason than no one knows how the guard will respond once he starts playing.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens has developed a system with Rondo in mind. The idea is to blend the point guard back into the mix as seamlessly as possible.

Of everything that has been on Stevens' mind in his first NBA season, developing a strong working relationship with Rondo has been near the top of the list.

The point guard has been on the bench for every game, functioning as an additional member of Stevens' staff, and fully invested in the progress of fellow guards Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford.

He ultimately will make both players, not to mention the rest of the lineup, better upon his return. Celtics management is anxious to see how the new chemistry works before entertaining any trade scenario.

The mercurial Rondo presents quite the challenge in that respect. He's one of the purest point guards in the NBA — one of the best at making every teammate on the floor a better player, and thus a logical player to be at the core of a rebuilding project.

The operative phrase with Ainge is also to never say never, of course. If a so-called godfather deal comes along for Rondo — an offer he can't refuse — then the atmosphere on Causeway Street is sure to change.

But for now, Ainge, who was in New York to watch Thursday night's game between Duke and UCLA at Madison Square Garden, is more focused on scouting than dealing.


 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Man found unconscious at Winchester Speedpark Saturday

Too young to drive, but old enough for NHMS

Police examine speed, possible horseplay in golf cart fatality

Mass. man, 27, dies in golf cart accident at The Links at Outlook

Hanover's Sarah Groff competes in the women's triathlon final during the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Hanover Olympian in spotlight at Las Vegas Super Sprint

FHL makes it official, team planned for Berlin will play in North Adams, Mass. instead

Can NH soccer star Charlie Davies make a comeback?

Inside NIKEs secret sports lab; born in Exeter, now located in Oregon.

Concord Monitor decries gender pay gap in professional tennis

FHL franchise slated for Berlin may go to North Adams, Mass. instead

Eagles' Kelly says he learned his offense by studying defense while at UNH

Former Concord area youth baseball coach sentenced to 30 more years in prison

Maine boxer Brandon Berry making Fight to Educate history

Hudson family, classmates working to keep Alvirne soccer standout Raul Stedile in U.S.

Israel unrest moves meet for NH swim star

Race date for Oxford 250 moved from July to Aug. 30 next year

NH's Groff a highlight for U.S. at ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final

Maine fighters Lamour, Berry on New Hampshire boxing card

Q&A with Matt Bonner as he weighs free agency

Keene State mum on suspension of veteran track coach

Morgan Andrews speaks: Notre Dame star undeterred by U.S. U-20 World Cup snub

Mo'ne Davis, and why no one should laugh at the idea of a woman in Major League Baseball

Curt Schilling says smokeless tobacco caused oral cancer

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!