What Celtics players are drawing the most interest?

The Knicks may have been on to something. Their unwaivering lust for Rajon Rondo seems to have been contagious as alleged offers and rumors surrounding the Celtics point guard are increasing by the day. Granted, the NBA trade deadline is this Thursday at 2PM Central, so naturally there are lots of rumors flying around, but the Rondo trades coming up now are most interesting as Danny Ainge has vehemently said for weeks that the rebuilding Boston Celtics will be structuring their team around Rajon Rondo.

The asking price is apparently a pair of unprotected first round picks that would come within the top two selections although they wouldn’t have to be both in the same year. That, to me, sounds like Danny is saying, “oh you’d like Rajon Rondo? Sure we can talk- send me the future of your franchise and we’ll discuss.” It’s an asking price, but not a real asking price… unless someone takes it seriously.

Here are the quick hits on Celtics trade action for pre-lunch Tuesday February 18th:

  • The Celtics have received calls about Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Kris Humphries, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, and Jeff Green. No talks are ongoing, but the Celtics are looking to make a deal.
  • Danny Ainge spoke with Baxter Holmes this week on the issue of going over the luxary tax in order to secure a marquee player. While it is not something the Celtics are looking to do, they would make an exception for the right talent:
“We would go over the cap for the right deal,” Ainge said. “We’re not going to go over the cap just for the cap’s sake, just because we’re not a playoff team this year, most likely, unless we turn things around quickly. I think that it would not be prudent to be a tax-paying team this year. But if we needed to be a tax-paying team to make a certain acquisition, we certainly would. We have the support of ownership and I think we have the best ownership in basketball. And they would certainly be willing to spend the money. It’s not that; it’s just the competitive advantage to stay under the tax for future years and to allocate our money the best that we can.”

  • Ainge and Baxter also discussed the the ways the next few years could go in regards to the assets the Celtics have acquired since last summer. There are many ways to approach the rebuilding process and Danny Ainge is apparently considering all of them.
“You know what, I look at them as 17 opportunities to draft some really good players,” Ainge said. “Or maybe 12 opportunities to draft and five to trade, or five to draft and 12 to trade. It depends on the players.”
As more news, rumors, and trade discussions develop, best believe CelticsLife will have you covered. Stay tuned.

Follow Padraic O’Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor

Source: Steve Bulpett; Boston Herald, Chuck Myron; HoopsRumors