Rondo welcomes rookie guard Smart to Celtics

Posted July 09, 2014, at 8:15 a.m.
Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (9) watches the action from the bench during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T center in this 2013 photo.
Soobum Im | USA Today Sports
Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (9) watches the action from the bench during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T center in this 2013 photo.

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo notices the crowd forming behind him on the roster, but is not bothered by general manager Danny Ainge’s decision to draft a point guard sixth overall in the NBA draft last month.

“I don’t think nothing of it,” Rondo said.

He told the Boston Globe “I am who I am,” when asked for his reaction to the Celtics selection of Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart in the lottery. Smart dominated the ball at the college level, and is not considered a polished perimeter shooter who could transition to shooting guard.

Rondo said he did not hear from the team on draft night, nor has there been communication since Smart was picked.

If Smart proves his value early in the season, Rondo can undoubtedly expect to again be the subject of nagging trade rumors. He’s entering the final season of his contract and at 28, would draw interest if Ainge opts to make him available.

“No. That’s fine,” Rondo said. “I don’t have too many feelings involved in this business. I’ve played my heart out for the game, but business is business. I can be here today, gone tomorrow. You never know. For me to get bent out of shape, or to feel threatened by the Celtics drafting a point guard, it means nothing.”

Smart is a good defender with an NBA body and like Avery Bradley, Rondo said he will welcome him to the rotation based on his ability to make the Celtics more competitive.

“What I like about Smart is that he competes. He kind of reminds me (of myself). I like the guys that compete and remind me of myself,” Rondo said. That’s not to say that nobody on the team this year didn’t compete. Avery is one of the best competitors that we have in this league. … So I think that’s a big pickup for us in that aspect. I think having a guy on the wing that will defend along with Avery and myself, and has a lot more size and strength, that will be big.”

Boston was mentioned in pre-draft rumors involving power forward Kevin Love. It’s unlikely the Minnesota Timberwolves would accept Rondo alone in a trade with point guard Ricky Rubio under contract.

 

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