Saturday, January 18, 2014

Is "Captain" Rajon Rondo now less likely to be traded? Probably not.

Before anyone starts freaking out, let me be clear: I do not think the Celtics are going to trade Rajon Rondo, nor do I want them to.  But I'll get back to that later.

While making his return to action on Friday night, the TD Garden crowd, his fellow teammates, and even Rondo himself were surprised to hear him called "the captain" during the starting lineup announcements.  I love this move by the C's; both giving him the title, and the manner in which they revealed it.  And I definitely believe it's an encouraging sign that they're convinced he can be the leader of this club going forward.

But not for one second do I think it eliminates the possibility of Danny Ainge trading him.  If another team makes an offer for Rondo that Ainge believes is in the long term best interests of the franchise, he's still going to take it.  It's not as if Ainge will think to himself "hmm, I really like this deal for Rondo that's on the table... but we just made him captain, so I guess I'll pass."

If anything, this new title probably increases Rondo's trade value.  The knock on him is that he's been difficult to deal with in the past, but being named captain shows that Boston has faith in him and confidence in his character.  It inflates his perceived worth to the Celtics, and in turn to other teams as well.  My guess is that nobody is going to offer Boston enough for Rondo as they feel they should get in return, so he's probably staying put.  But being the captain won't be what keeps him here, and it's certainly not going to put an end to the never ending trade rumors.

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