The Celtics will build around Rajon Rondo rather than deal him as part of their offseason remake, Boston president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Monday.
In a major overhaul, the Celtics dealt coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers for a 2015 first-round draft pick, then sent Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a package that brought back a handful of players plus three more first-round draft picks.
The moves leave Rondo as the last star standing in Boston -- though he's standing on a surgically repaired right knee after having a torn anterior cruciate ligament repaired in February.
"The calls are coming in, the calls have not been going out," Ainge said when asked if he'd continue dealing. "I think that the assumption is that, (given) what we are trying to accomplish, the reports are such that maybe the assumption is that we'll give away any of our players. We have had calls. On Jeff (Green), on Courtney (Lee), on Brandon (Bass), on Rondo, on Jared (Sullinger) and our draft pick, Kelly (Olynyk) -- there's been calls for all those guys. And maybe the assumption is we are just changing everybody, but we're not. We're starting to get younger."
Ainge said he believes Rondo, 27, will be ready for the start of next season.
In 38 games last season, Rondo averaged 13.7 points, 11.1 assists and a career-high 5.6 rebounds. In seven NBA seasons, all with Boston, he has averaged 11.1 points, 8.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds.