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Rajon Rondo denies trade request through spokesperson

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The Boston Celtics guard said through a spokeswoman that he and his agent haven't requested a trade.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Rajon Rondo and his agent have quickly attempted to squash a report that indicated the point guard had asked the Boston Celtics to trade him. A spokeswoman told the Boston Herald's Mark Murphy that Rondo and agent Bill Duffy wanted to make clear that they had nothing to do with the rumor:

"Neither Bill nor Rajon know where this has come from, but it didn't come from them," Alyson Furch said in a text tonight. "They want this on the record. Neither has spoken to anyone about this."

The initial report came from ESPN reporter Jackie MacMullan, who said in a supplementary YouTube video of the television show Around the Horn that Rondo "wants out" of Boston. ESPN later pulled the video from YouTube.

Why it makes sense

Publicly, Rondo has maintained that he would like to stay with the Celtics, but with a year left on his current deal that will pay him $12.9 million, there's a reasonable expectation that Danny Ainge could decide to trade his star point guard to avoid losing him for nothing. It's common for players to use backchannels to express their true desires, so even if Rondo indeed wants to leave the Celtics, it's possible neither he nor Duffy were the ones who directly told Boston as much.

Why it doesn't make sense

The trade rumors will persist. Similarly to Kevin Love's expiring contract leading to him being traded from Minnesota to Cleveland, the Celtics might at some point determine their chances of re-signing Rondo to a new deal. If they don't see it happening, there's no reason they wouldn't look at their options. Rondo very well could be open to signing elsewhere instead of continuing on with a rebuilding project in Boston.

What's the likelihood this is true?

Give it a fairly-confident 8 out of 10 shot that Rondo hasn't gone to Ainge and flat out asked for a trade. It is, however, more likely the point guard has hinted -- in a subtle way -- there's a chance of him leaving. Whether he or anyone boldly told the Celtics that he won't re-sign is not clear either, but it wouldn't be surprising for Boston to have a good enough feeling that Rondo could leave.

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