Even as the Celtics and Dallas Mavericks engaged in substantive discussions about a potential deal involving the 28-year-old point guard, Rondo downplayed the trade chatter while meeting with reporters after Boston's 109-92 win over the Orlando Magic.
"[Trade rumors have been] a way of life since I’ve been here," said Rondo. "It’s just part of it."
Rondo was asked if his preference remains to stay in Boston long term and he smiled before offering, "How many times do you want me to say it?"
When a reporter joked that he could say it one more time given the latest rumors, Rondo laughed.
"We discussed it on Media Day," he said. "My thoughts and opinions, as far as the organization, haven’t changed."
Rondo, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, has maintained that his preference is to continue his career in Boston. The Celtics, however, must decide whether to risk letting Rondo reach the open market, or move him for guaranteed assets before February's trade deadline.
Celtics brass, including president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, assistant general manager Mike Zarren, and team co-owner Steve Pagliuca were in the hallway outside the team's locker room around the same time that Rondo departed the building on Wednesday.
Rondo, who has often been frustrated by trade rumors during his career, took an easy-going approach to the topic on Wednesday night.
"I’m enjoying life," he said. "You can’t win them all. But [my teammates] are funny. I’m young and I’m doing what I love to do, it’s a dream come true. I can’t be upset about anything."
Rondo, in his second season as captain, has emerged as the veteran leader of a young team and has been a calming presence despite early season frustrations.
"I just want to be a better person this year, be a better teammate each year, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job of trying to lead these young guys," said Rondo. "I’m not that old. They make me feel like it."
Rondo was asked if he's better able to handle frustrations at this age.
"It’s hard to say," he said. "Hard to say what if, or coulda shoulda. It is what it is. Everything happens for a reason, and I believe in certain timing, things happen for a reason. I’m 28 and I’m pretty much the veteran guy on this team, that’s just part of it."