New York Daily News: Celtics likely to move Rondo

After ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg wrote this morning that he believes the Celtics are unlikely to move the All-Star point guard now that he's been named team captain, the New York Daily News is reporting a the exact opposite.

Mitch Lawrence, who posted the story this afternoon, is of the opinion that Danny Ainge will continue to stockpile assets and with Rondo being the piece that will yield the highest return. While the entire piece is worth a look, here are the highlights with commentary:

More than a few GMs around the league expect Rondo to be on the move, if not at the trading deadline next month, then maybe in June at draft time.

He could be on his way out. If not now, then sometime. If not sometime, then after retirement. Either way, Rondo will not spend the rest of his life in Boston. "A few GMs around the league" is about as vague as it gets.

Between Ainge’s deals with the Nets and Clippers and other moves, the Celtics now have 17 potential draft picks over the next five seasons. Some will be used for their drafts, but others are likely to be included as sweeteners in deals for established players.

17 is a very high number of picks to have over the next four seasons. I absolutely agree that some of these will be used in deals to bring established talent to Boston. Ainge has accumulated this stockpile while leaving his core of Rondo, Green, and Sullinger in tack. If he wanted to secure a windfall of assets on top of what he has already gotten, wouldn't he have moved Rondo already?

Rondo probably isn’t going to accept a role in a rebuilding situation with a rookie coach, Brad Stevens,

...huh? What is this based on? Players that want out of a franchise don't travel with the team to every city, put hours into the community, and let trade rumors bounce off their chest like Superman. They get suspended for conduct detrimental to team (Bynum), vent to the media (Wallace), and ask to go home because they're frustrated with their role (Bogans). If Rondo wanted out, he'd be out.

Ainge to try to move him to the West, with Phoenix and Houston seen as two potential destinations.

I'll play this game. Phoenix has a lot of young talent in the Morris Twins, Alex Len, and Eric Bledsoe. They also have a lot of picks in this year's draft. I'm sure a package with a combination of these elements have hit Danny Ainge's inbox... but why do this if you're Phoenix? Phoenix is defying expectation right now as it is, and in addition to their own pick have the first round picks of Washington, Indiana, and Minnesota and will have about $20M in cap space. Things seem to be going better than expected for the Suns... so why do this deal?

Houston? What are you going to send back? And don't say Jeremy Lin. Chandler Parsons, James Harden, and Dwight Howard aren't moving, Houston will make the playoffs, and seem to be doing pretty well in a stacked Western Conference. I'm not saying that McHale & Co. don't want Rondo, but I think it is very doubtful they could offer something Boston really wants to get him. Unless the C's think that Phil Pressey is the PG of the future for this club, it is not worth it to the Celtics to do a deal involving Rondo, even if it is for Asik; which in my opinion is the biggest chip the Rockets would be willing to play with.

This is the same story we've been hearing all season long. Rondo is not gonna wanna play for a rookie coach, Rondo doesn't want to rebuild, Rondo got into a fight with Ray Allen so he is bad for the locker room, and so on and so on and so on. I stick by my thesis: If Rondo wanted out, Rondo would be out. ESPN's Chris Forsberg summed it up perfectly:

If I had to guess why this is getting reported now, it would have to do with Rondo returning last night, it shook the internet to it's core, and on a slow Saturday news day, it drove a few extra pageviews to New York Daily News. Congrats, internet... you got me again.

Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor

Source: Mitch Lawrence, New York Daily News

Photo Source: Grant Halverson, Getty Images