BOSTON (CBS) -- Training camp is less than a week away for the Boston Celtics, and the team's brass continues to tell everyone that Rajon Rondo is in their plans for the future.
"We're not trading Rondo," Celtics president of basketball ops Danny Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub's Gresh & Zolak on Tuesday morning. "We expect Rajon Rondo to be in Boston for the long-term. We expect him to have the best year of his career. "
Ainge joined Gresh & Zo just before he hit the links at the seventh annual "Teeing Up For Kids Golf Tournament" at the Dedham Country and Polo Club. He admitted that he is getting a little tired talking about a potential Rondo trade.
"It gets old. But we live in a world of media where someone makes a comment and everybody thinks there is a bit of truth to it. I don't know how many times we have to refute it, how many times we have to say he's here and wants to be here.
"Obviously he is a free agent this summer and our team isn't what he's used to playing with in the [Kevin Garnett] era. We like him, he likes us and we're hoping we can figure out something long-term. The reason we don't have something long-term isn't because of desire. It's a bad financial decision for Rondo under the CBA to sign an extension any time before next year."
While Rondo may be Boston's best trade asset heading into the season, Ainge said he is the kind of player the Celtics are trying to attract to Boston -- not send them away.
"I've always said that no player is untradeable; my job is to do what's best for the Boston Celtics and listen to every offer. But players like Rondo are really hard to find. That's what we're trying to acquire, and you need players of that cache to draw other players to play with you," he said. "I know there has been a lot of discussion the opposite way and guys don't want to play with Rondo. That's a bunch of garbage. When we talk to free agents, guys want to play wiht Rondo. He's a pass-first point guard and one of the top point guards in the game."
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Ainge said he doesn't have to talk much with Rondo's representatives, because most of his discussions are with the point guard himself.
"I think Rondo and I have a great relationship. We've been together for eight years and we talk all the time," said Ainge. "He knows what I think and I've been honest with him the one or two times, maybe, where trade talk has been serious, and he knows when it's just garbage. We talk all the time and I don't feel like I need to talk to his people. He can tell me how he feels and I can talk to him and tell him where I stand.
"We have to be a good enough team for Rondo to want to stay with us, or a situation where he sees some hope. Right now, I know he does see some hope in this team."
The Celtics were hoping to hit it big in the offseason, with CEO Wyc Grousbeck famously saying there could be some "fireworks," but it was a rather quiet summer for Boston. But Ainge said the team is not frustrated that they couldn't add more star power and will remain patient throughout the season.
"We're always trying to find a KG and a Ray Allen, but there aren't very many of those guys around. There are 30 quality teams with only a certain amount of star players and star power. We need to be patient because we weren't able to do something. We'll continue to try to find those quality of players, but in the meantime we hope some of our young guys develop into star qualities," he said. "I guess I've been in the NBA for so long that I don't get that frustrated. There were some times of hope where I was getting a little antsy, but nothing materialized as we had hoped. But were not frustrated; I like our guys and am anxious to see them. In order to do a big deal we would have had to give up some young guys, and now I get to see them grow and develop. Maybe they're better than we hoped."
What excites Ainge the most about the 2014-15 Celtics is the perimeter defense the team could bring to the floor every night.
"We have the potential to be the best defensive perimeter team and that excites me; I love Avery Bradley, Rajon Rondo and Marcus Smart and how they can play defense. I would liken it from a football standpoint: We have the best defensive backs to shut down other team's receivers. Point guard is a difficult defensive position, and we have three guys who can play lock-down defense. That's probably the strength of our team."
Celtics Danny Ainge on Gresh & Zolak
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