The 2013-14 NBA season marks the start of a new era for the Boston Celtics. The Big-Three era is now officially over and the team is pretty much starting fresh. That’s of course with the exception of a couple players. Most notably, Rajon Rondo.
The All-Star point guard is of course recovering from ACL surgery this past February and given that the preseason is about to get underway, questions are starting to be asked concerning his return. Here’s what Celtics’ president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had to say on this best player:
“I don’t think we would ever succumb to the pressure of bringing back a player from an ACL too soon. We’ve got to do what’s right for him. He’s young, maybe if he was 37 and it was his last year, but he’s still so young. And he’s our best player. We can’t afford to make any mistakes and judgment on when to bring him back.”
Ainge added that he would be ‘shocked’ if Rondo was ready to start the season.
If you’re a Celtics fan, that’s what you want to hear, as strange as it might seem. Rondo is hands down the best player on the Boston roster and the team needs him out there, but it also can’t afford to have him go down again. Even with a 100 percent Rondo, the Celtics aren’t even close to being a contending team in the Eastern Conference.
Their intent is to keep him at this juncture, so they have to have the future in mind. This team is a year of two away from making any noise and to have any chance of returning to greatness, they’re going to need Rondo at his best. If they do ultimately decided to trade him, he’ll also need to be fully healthy to have any value.
Whether you subscribe to the theory that the Celtics are going to tank this year for a high draft pick or not, there’s still no point in putting Rondo back out there until he’s fully back to his old self.