Rajon Rondo has been one of the most highly discussed players in NBA as trade rumors begin to heat up. From the Phoenix Suns to the Memphis Grizzlies to the Sacramento Kings, several organizations have reportedly expressed interest in the young point guard. Rondo, however, doesn’t think he is going anywhere.
“I don’t think much of it,” he said on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show on Friday. “I’ve been in the gym everyday with the Celtics this off-season and I’m looking forward to doing great things next year, and hopefully trying to win a championship. If the trade happens, it happens. But I think we have a championship team here, and I don’t think [a trade] will happen.”
For now Rondo is focusing on what he does have control over – “I want to be the best point guard in the league next season,” he said. He paid close attention to the NBA playoffs to prepare for next season and recently returned from China as part of the Nike All Asia Basketball Camp.
“Danny [Ainge] was talking to me and he said, ‘You see what happens when you rise above your game in the playoffs. Trade rumors start to happen,” Rondo said. “It happened years ago with Paul [Pierce], so you never know until it actually goes through.”
Aside from postseason performances, Rondo’s attitude has been a hot topic of conversation amid the trade rumors. In addition to his alleged stubbornness, his arrival to the Garden an hour before a playoff game raised eyebrows. Rondo shrugs it all off.
“People are going to make assumptions, everyone has opinions. I actually do try to come to games as late as possible because I don’t like to go in the locker room and talk and waste time…Different guys have different opinions on why they like to get to the game so early,” he said. “Some people may look at it as late but I look at it as just coming to play.”
He added, “As far as attitude-wise, I think I can be stubborn which is a great trademark for me because I love to compete so much, I love to win. I’m always studying the game and I’m a student of the game. At the end of the day (Celtics head coach) Doc (Rivers) and I do have a strong enough relationship where we can talk to each other on and off the court.”
Rondo noted that he would be disappointed if he did not return to the Celtics next season. But the 23-year-old has been around long enough to know the realities of the league. He will be involved “a little bit” in upcoming contract talks and will leave the rest up to his agent and the Celtics.
“You can’t guarantee anything in this game I talked to Danny and he can’t guarantee that he’s not going to trade me, but he said that we have a championship team here,” Rondo said, adding, “This is a business so you never know what happens in this game. All great players become traded one day.”