BOSTON -- With Chris Paul traded to the Clippers this week, will any linger questions about Boston's desire to obtain the star point guard allow the likes of Rajon Rondo to focus more on the upcoming season?
"Maybe so," shrugged Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. "But the questions have been sort of done with us for a while, before we started camp. Maybe that helps ease his mind some, I’m not sure. I think his mind has been pretty much at ease since he’s been here in camp."
When rumors swirled at the start of camp, Ainge suggested he'd talk to Rondo and let him know he had no intentions of moving him (even as the rumors persisted). When trade talks kept breaking down, some couldn't help but wonder if Boston and New Orleans might ever revisit a deal.
On Thursday, Paul was traded to the Clippers, ending any such speculation.
"No, I don’t think anybody even cared about that, honestly," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "I think that’s overplayed. I really do. I think early on, when [Rondo's] name was mentioned, probably a little, but after that. I think guys are more resilient than [the media] think[s]. As long as [players] are playing, they are good."
And the league as a whole, will it finally move forward a bit with one superstar finally off the trading blocks?
"I really could care less," Rivers said of the drama around the league. "It’s probably not all over, there will be more trade talk somewhere down the line with somebody."
But Rivers did find a silver lining.
"Listen, any time your’e talking about the league, I guess it’s a good thing," he said. "Even if it's trades that didn’t happen, then trades that happened, then trades that were cancelled. At least they’re talking about our league, over [Broncos quarterback TIm] Tebow even. That’s impressive."
Of course, once he brought up Tebow -- whose Broncos play the Patriots Sunday in Denver -- reporters weren't about to let Rivers off the hook without asking him about the quarterback's success, including beating Rivers' beloved Chicago Bears last week with his latest fourth-quarter rally.
"I love him," admitted Rivers. "I know him; I’ve known him for four years now because of [former coach] Urban [Meyer] at Florida. So I’m really happy that he’s doing well. That’s great."