PHOENIX – With Thursday’s NBA trade deadline fast approaching, numerous trade rumors are swirling, especially around the rebuilding Celtics, who regathered here after the All-Star Break to kick off a West Coast road trip that starts Wednesday against the Suns.
But Rajon Rondo didn’t flinch when asked about trade rumors. He’s used to his name being tossed around this time of year, even when there is far more speculation than fact.
“This is year 8 for me — and I think this is year 8 for me being in trade rumors, especially around this time,” the Celtics’ point guard said before practice here Tuesday.
But is this year different?
“This is pretty much the same thing I go through every year,” Rondo said. “I think this is the most trade talk maybe, as far as seriousness for me, but, like I said, I still live my life every day and do what I do. Whatever happens, I’ll be able to adjust and adapt to it.”
If Rondo is a Celtic after the deadline passes, he said he doesn’t plan to play Saturday against Sacramento, which is the second game of a back-to-back set.
Rondo hasn’t played in the second game of a back-to-back since he returned to action in January after sitting out nearly a year following a knee injury.
“It’s three (games) in four nights,” he said. “Look at it that way. It’s a lot of games.”
As for the trade rumors, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, “I’ve gotten the impression from everything that I know and from everything that I read that what you read is a lot more than what’s actually happening.”
Even still, the Celtics will have to deal with rumors until the deadline passes at 3 p.m. Thursday, when the team will be in Los Angeles in advance of Friday’s game against the Lakers.
Stevens said he hasn’t noticed his players being distracted with the deadline looming.
When asked if the Celtics could look night-and-day different then, Stevens said, “I’m not anticipating that, nor am I looking at that. I’m looking at the guys that are here. And I have been looking at the guys that are here the whole time, and told them that today.
“I think the trading deadline is going to be full of rumors and part of it is because there’s a deadline on Thursday that more are going to be created. What we’ve got to do is, ‘OK, this is where we are.’ I like our locker room. I like the vibe of our locker room and so I’m focused on the guys that are here. The other part is, I’m fortunate that’s my job. I get to focus on the guys that are here. I haven’t put too much time thinking about things that aren’t.”
In other Celtics news, starting shooting guard Avery Bradley (sprained ankle) and Vitor Faverani (knee) didn’t make the trip and won’t be playing in the Celtics’ next four games.