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Celtics @ 7: What To Do With Rondo?

BOSTON (CBS) -- To trade or not to trade, that is the question for the Boston Celtics when it comes to Rajon Rondo.

The Rondo trade debate rages on more furious than the point guard runs the fast break for Boston, and we can expect the chatter to continue until the trade deadline on February 19.

There are two camps when it comes to Rondo: Those who say trade him for whatever Danny Ainge can get, and those who think the Celtics should build around the talented playmaker. Howard Beck of Bleacher Report recently spoke with one NBA general manager who said the Celtics have no choice but to trade their point guard:

Rival executives say that Ainge has been firm in his stance that Rondo will not be dealt. But many of those same executives believe that Ainge has to trade Rondo, to avoid losing him for nothing next summer.

"They're definitely bravely saying they won't trade him at this point," said one general manager, who nevertheless added, "I definitely think it's the right thing to trade him. I think Danny knows it."

Later in that piece Beck got Paul Pierce's thoughts on Rondo, who said players like his former teammate don't come around very often.

"People think those players grow on trees, when they don't," Pierce told Beck. "When you get those types of players, you've got to keep them. And then you've got to try to find other players of that caliber to go with them."

So what are the Celtics to do? That was the discussion between Adam Jones and Rich Keefe on Thursday night's edition of Celtics @ 7, with Keefe firmly entrenched in the camp that wants to keep Rondo.

"I'm with Pierce, and I think that part of it is because, say you want to trade him, what are you getting back? Right now it doesn't seem like you're going to get a whole lot in return," said Keefe. "The number of teams who would want Rondo in the last year of his deal is probably a select group, and do any of those teams have enough to offer you anything. A team that is going to want Rondo is also going to want to make the playoffs this year."

Trading Rondo at or around the deadline will likely net the Celtics a draft pick or two, but the team is already in good shape with a plethora of picks from their numerous deals over the last three years. The ideal Rondo trade would net them a promising young player in return, but it doesn't look like those deals are out there right now.

"If you're not going to get much for him, maybe try to build around him," said Keefe. "I know that's easier said than done, but why give up on a star player because he's at the end of his contract or you weren't able to bring in another star player to play with him?"

Adam Jones is in the other camp though, and is worried if the Celtics hold on to Rondo he will leave via free agency after the season and the Celtics will be left with nothing in return.

"I tend to agree with the GM. Danny knows he has to trade him and is saying all the right things, but is going to trade him," said Jones. "He might hold out all the way until the deadline, and some of the rumored deals out there are underwhelming.

"What is the right deal? I don't know," said Jones. "But put me firmly in Camp A."


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