BOSTON, MA - MAY 07: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics heads down court after he scored on a break away in the second half against the Miami Heat in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 7, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat 97-81. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Rajon Rondo has been the star of the Boston Celtics' trade rumor mill so far.
The Boston Celtics have already been at the center of wild trade rumors, so much so that team management had to reassure one of the team's four All-Stars that he's beloved by the franchise.
So basically, it's just another season in Boston.
Here's a look at the Celtics' salary cap levels over the past six seasons.
Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck hasn't been shy about paying for a winner. The real test will come when it is decided that this team is no longer a winner. That could be sooner than you think.
Heading into free agency, the Celtics have a cap figure of $64 million with the leaguewide team salary cap set at $58 million and the luxury tax line at $70 million. The Celtics can use the full mid-level exception ... but only if Jeff Green and Glen Davis leave or see their rights' renounced by the C's. In all likelihood, Boston will have only the mini MLE -- a maximum of $9.3 million over three seasons -- and veteran's minimum contracts to use.
The Celtics' free agents are:
Green and Davis are the names to watch; the Celtics likely won't want to lose Green after trading Kendrick Perkins for him less than a year ago. While Davis is erratic and flawed, he's Boston's erratic and flawed Glen Davis, and he figures to remain fairly cheap.
West is the only other free agent with a chance to return, but that's tough to predict, as are all things related to Delonte West.
Rajon Rondo has been at the center of trade rumors since the NBA lockout ended, first for Chris Paul and later in relation to the Indiana Pacers. Needless to say, this will continue forever. Rondo is the perfect trade rumor player: really good but still misunderstoof, fairly priced, perhaps moody. That he plays for a team always in the mix for big moves doesn't hurt.
Boston is also kicking the tires on veteran roleplayers like Grant Hill and Chuck Hayes. The Celtics always need help at center, so don't be surprised if they push for a big man via trade or sign-and-trade.
For more on Boston, visit SB Nation's CelticsBlog.