During the unexpected question-and-answer session, Rondo revealed that the rehabilitation of his torn ACL is improving better than some in the media have speculated in recent weeks.
As Celtics.com's Marc D'Amico reported, Rondo announced to the gathered reporters, "I got fitted for my first brace, so I don't think contact will be too far from now. So I'm just waiting to get cleared from my doctors."
Rondo added that he was "feeling great" and that his leg was progressively "getting stronger" through daily workouts.
The recovery of the Celtics' lone remaining star player couldn't come soon enough. Boston was absolutely atrocious in preseason play, losing six of eight contests and all four games on the road. Without Rondo, Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett in the lineup for the first time since 2006-2007, the Celtics look completely lost on offense, relying heavily on three-point shots and high-volume field-goal attempts.
Rajon Rondo's speedy return to the team, however, is likely to be more important for the long-term health of the organization for reasons that have nothing to do with competing for the eighth spot in the 2013-2014 playoffs. The sooner their star player returns, the earlier the team can start exploring potential trade options with interested organizations around the league.
For those naysayers who maintain the position that Rondo is nowhere near the trade block, consider the comments of ESPN.com's Marc Stein, who recently wrote in his 2013-2014 power rankings that the Celtics "have to trade Rondo." Stein continued, "You know it, I know it, everyone in basketball knows it."
I agree. If Rondo is not available, there simply would not be the high number of rumors that have been floating around since the 2012-2013 season ended in heartbreak.
If Rondo does continue to progress in his rehab, it's good news for the Celtics. Trade negotiations really cannot begin until teams know what kind of shape his knee is in, and the longer it takes for him to return, the more unlikely it is Boston will get something close to full value in a trade offer. Once it's clear that Rondo is back in business, expect the rumors the fly.
Don't agree with me? Tell me why I am wrong on Twitter @THATCelticsGuy.
Justin Haskins is a New England native and a freelance journalist. He has been obsessively following Boston professional sports for 10 years and has been published in numerous online publications and websites.
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- Rajon Rondo
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