Over the weekend a YouTube video from behind the scenes of ESPN’s Around the Horn became a major NBA story. In the clip, which did not air on TV, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan conversed with Frank Isola of the New York Daily News about the likelihood of the Boston Celtics trading Rajon Rondo. Among other things, MacMullan said:
And it will happen because he’s told them he wants out. And no one believes me, but that’s the truth.
After “Rondo wants to be traded” headlines began to pop up across the internet, a few things happened. Around the Horn removed the video from it’s YouTube channel, clearly never intending for the off-air segment to be treated like and actual news report. Boston Herald reporter Mark Murphy also sent out the following tweet:
Spokeswoman for Rajon Rondo’s agent, Bill Duffy, said both men deny that Celtics guard has demanded a trade.
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) September 1, 2014
On Monday, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE published a piece with the tagline “This isn’t the time for Rondo to demand a trade from Celtics.” Blakely wrote:
Multiple league sources have repeatedly said that Rondo wants to start the season in Boston and see where things go from there. A similar sentiment has trickled out of Celtics camp, as well.
Rondo is hopeful that the team Danny Ainge is assembling around him is better than most anticipate, that they can be this season’s feel-good story not only in the East but throughout the NBA…Multiple league and team sources agree the most likely scenario has Rondo beginning the season in Boston. Then, depending on how the team does, both sides will mutually agree to either ride it out or part ways sooner rather than later.
So who is right and who is wrong?
On the surface this appears to be three different contradictory pieces of information–Rondo wants to be traded, Rondo doesn’t want to be traded and Rondo maybe wants to be traded later. But in reality there’s a good chance that’s not the case at all, and there’s truth to all three.
The Celtics went 25-57 last year, and their prospects for 2014-15 don’t appear much better. Considering Boston hasn’t made any major moves this summer, it should come as no surprise that the All-Star point guard is dissatisfied with his current situation. It’s quite possible Rondo expressed his frustration and asked to be dealt if the club isn’t taking strides to improve.
However, that is not the same thing as “demanding a trade.” MacMullan wasn’t expecting her thoughts to be publicly scrutinized, and she didn’t bother to chose her words carefully. But, the opposite is true of the statement from Rondo’s agent.
And to Blakely’s point, why wouldn’t Rondo want to stay in Boston if the future starts to look bright? The soon-to-be free agent will likely have a lot better idea of the direction the franchise is heading in six months from now.
Is Rondo unhappy with the state of the Celtics at the moment? Probably, and for good reason. But, that doesn’t mean he can’t be convinced otherwise should things begin to turn around.