Updated: Jackie MacMullan: Rajon Rondo "wants out" of Boston

Update: It looks as though ESPN has taken down the video they posted on YouTube about this. I've transcribed what was said below. Maybe Jackie MacMullan was none too pleased about her conversation going public. Maybe she said some things that were told to her in confidence or she just has a feeling that Rondo wants out and doesn't want to be the source for something that's not concrete. Unfortunately, you can't unring that bell.

Original post, with transcriptions:

When Hall of Fame sportswriter Jackie MacMullan talks, you listen.

MacMullan was on the ESPN show Around the Horn recently and the show posted a behind-the-scenes snippet of a conversation between herself and Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. In the clip, they discuss the next big trade they expect to go down now that Kevin Love is officially a Cavalier. The topic of that conversation was Boston's own Rajon Rondo. (h/t to Jay King at MassLive for snagging this.)

Here's where the video would have been, but it is no longer on YouTube.

Here's what was said:

Isola: Hey, Jackie. Now that Kevin Love is traded, you know who is next up. Your boy.

MacMullan: Oh, I hope so. Just get it done.

Isola: Now it's going to be the fall of Rondo.

MacMullan: I know it. And it will happen because he's told them he wants out. And no one believes me, but that's the truth. And I don't see how you get 80 cents on the dollar for him. Tell me where. Tell me where. The Knicks? People keep saying the Knicks. Yea? Well, who are they going to give you? The Kings want him and the Kings will give you, I think the Kings would give you Isaiah Thomas and, the big kid, McLemore.

J.A. Adande: Well, they lost Isaiah. The Kings. Isaiah's down in Phoenix now.

MacMullan: That's right. You're right. God.

Isola: They do want him, though.

MacMullan: Yea, and they'll give up McLemore. But the thing is, Rondo's already told them, flat out, 'I will never re-sign with you.' That's no good. Where do you go?

Isola: I wonder with Houston. Maybe something with Houston and the Brooklyn Nets. Maybe some kind of three-way.

MacMullan: Houston has interest in everybody, right? They always do. But the piece there, that was supposed to be Asik, he's gone now.

Isola: And so is Jeremy Lin. There was talk of Jeremy Lin and Asik. What about a team like Dallas?

MacMullan: I don't know. Does Dallas want him? Who do they give you back?

Isola:Isola: Well you know the coach of the Clippers, I mean they do have Chris Paul, but I don't think he'd ever take him.

MacMullan: He doesn't like Rondo. Remember that. I mean, he's done with Rondo. They went a good long way together, but that guy, Rondo drives him nuts. And they have Chris Paul anyway. They don't need him. You know, I thought maybe Phoenix would be interested in him because of Ryan McDonough, you know, and they've got Bledsoe so maybe that works. Maybe that works, I don't know. But then, you know, the Celtics have the same problem. Unless they think Bledsoe is worth the max.

There is much to digest from that candid conversation. The first point that sticks out is that this is the exact opposite of how the team and Rondo have been talking about the situation publicly. For the last several months, whenever Boston GM Danny Ainge speaks about Rondo, it's talk of keeping him in the fold. Draft a point guard sixth overall? Ainge says Rondo and Marcus Smart can play together. No Rondo extension? Ainge says he's offered one, but it doesn't make sense financially for Rondo to sign it. What about those Rondo trade rumors that crop up once every day that end in Y? Hogwash, says Ainge.

For Rondo's part, he's played the role of good soldier to a T. He has not been quoted anywhere saying he wants to leave Boston. In fact, he's said he wants to stay, even going so far to say that he "trusts" Ainge.

So what gives? Either Rondo and Ainge have a handshake agreement that Rondo won't torpedo the team publicly and Ainge will do his best to move his star point guard or MacMullan is dead wrong. That's not likely. There could be a third option, however. Rondo, like the rest of us, could be waiting around to see what this team turns into. As the roster stands right now, with a bunch of young guys who are years from competing, he'd likely want out and not waste his prime rebuilding. But if Ainge can somehow bring in another legit star, he could see himself sticking it out.

Problem is, MacMullan is pretty definitive. "Wants out" is a strong term. She doesn't talk of any fence sitting with Rondo. To her, he doesn't want to be a Celtic anymore. Period.

If that's the case, then what's next? MacMullan and Isola go on to discuss where, if anywhere, Rondo could be moved. Ever since the Love boat left Boston Harbor, fans have been talking themselves into waiting for that next shoe to drop. That next superstar to get frustrated and seek a trade in the hopes that Ainge could snatch him up to play alongside Rondo to accelerate the rebuild. But what if, ironically, Rondo is that next All-Star to seek a trade? That point may not have even crossed many people's minds. To MacMullan, this is now where we sit.

In regards to where Rondo could be traded to, both MacMullan and Isola can't come up with a good landing spot. New York Knicks? For what? Dallas Mavericks? Same question. The Houston Rockets? Maybe a couple months ago when they still had real pieces to move. The Sacramento Kings? MacMullan says, in no uncertain terms, Rondo would "never" sign a contract with them. The Phoenix Suns? Maybe, but is Eric Bledsoe worth the max and is he enough?

So what does all of this mean? If MacMullan is correct, Rondo wants out, but there are no good spots to send him. That means waiting around until a nice package shows up on Ainge's door. Either someone gets injured and a contender gets desperate or a team on the cusp of contention bites the bullet and trades for Rondo in the hopes that he takes them to the next level. If worse comes to worse, Rondo could simply walk next summer. That sounds bad, but it wouldn't be the worst thing.

If Rondo does have some agreement with Ainge not to make it known he wants out, it'll be interesting to see just how long that will last. It's been said multiple times that Rondo is usually the smartest guy in the room. He has to have seen what Kevin Love did, essentially demanding a trade, and where he ended up. Why should Rondo keep quite if it means potentially landing somewhere like Cleveland? This season may not be a winning won in Boston, but it should certainly be intriguing.

Quick side note: It was also interesting to hear MacMullen talk about the relationship between Doc Rivers and Rondo. She says Doc is "done" with Rondo. He "drives (Doc) nuts." This is also different than what the two say publicly. Doc could be "done" with wanting to coach Rondo, but it could also be true that the two still talk from time to time, since they spent so much time together in Boston. Sure, Doc will talk to Rondo and advise him and be there for him, but not coach him.

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