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21/03/2019 5:51 am  

BOSTON - Rajon Rondo wanted to avoid rush-hour city traffic so he met at the Boston Celtics suburban practice facility with the man who traded him. China Jerseys .I shared with him how much I appreciated all he had done for us, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said of that Thursday night farewell.All that wasnt enough for Ainge to keep the star point guard who could have left as a free agent after the season. Or to reject a Dallas Mavericks offer that gave Ainge more assets to continue shaping the young roster into a contender.There was definite uncertainty into what may happen this summer, Ainge said before Friday nights game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, So that was a big factor.The Celtics traded Rondo, 28, and rookie forward Dwight Powell on Thursday night for point guard Jameer Nelson, centre Brandan Wright, forward Jae Crowder, two draft picks and a $12.9 million trade exception. The three new Celtics were in town Friday night but not active against the Timberwolves.One night after meeting with Ainge in Waltham, Rondo attended a news conference with his new team which should be more competitive in the tough Western Conference.He should be enthusiastic about the opportunity hes going to, Ainge said. It makes me feel a little better. We have to do whats best for the Celtics. It is, at the same time, a great opportunity for him.Evan Turner started in his place at point guard. The Celtics also have second-year pro Phil Pressey and rookie Marcus Smart, a first-round pick, to play that spot. But Smart has been slowed by a series of injuries and is not at full strength despite being in uniform Friday night.Trading the mercurial Rondo was difficult, Ainge said. I loved watching Rajon. I loved visiting with him. Our one-on-one conversations were fun, entertaining, frustrating sometimes, always a surprise. The guy was a very unique person.In his last talk with Rondo, coach Brad Stevens said he told the four-time All-Star and current NBA assists leader, Thanks for everything youve done. Youve left a great legacy.Obtained by Ainge in a draft day trade after Phoenix chose him in the first round in 2006, Rondo was a member of the Celtics championship team in his second season with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. But the Celtics began a long-term rebuilding project last season when Stevens succeeded Doc Rivers, who left to coach the Los Angeles Clippers.They went into Friday nights game with a 9-14 record.Rondo missed the first half of last season after reconstructive knee surgery then broke a finger on his left hand but played in the opener less than five weeks later.We clearly gave up the best player in this deal and thats not philosophically what wed like to do, Ainge said.But Stevens rejected the notion that Rondo didnt want to stay with the Celtics or that the trade was part of an effort to get a poorer record and a better draft choice.We are building every single night to be the best that we can be, he said. Tonight, tomorrow, the next night. Thats never going to stop.He also said Nelson, Wright and Crowder all could contribute to the team.Ainge said the trade was not a backward step in the rebuilding process since it provided a trade exception and two draft picks that could be included in deals. Over the next six years, the Celtics have 10 first-round picks and the possibility of two more.We have a lot of (salary) cap space this summer, he said, which the Celtics have never had.They also have two forwards who can become free agents after the season, leading scorer Jeff Green and backup Brandon Bass.Might they be traded as well?Lets take a deep breath and enjoy the holidays and lets let these (new) guys play, see how everybody fits in, Ainge said to laughter. Were not actively pursuing anything at this minute. NFL Jerseys Cheap . -- Phil Mickelson came to the St. Discount Jerseys . PETERSBURG, Fla.SAO PAULO - Paolo Lorenzi of Italy reached his first ATP semifinal by upsetting fourth-seeded Juan Monaco of Argentina 7-6 (6), 6-7 (4), 6-4 at the Brazil Open on Friday. The 114th-ranked Lorenzi broke Monacos serve to go up 4-3 in the decisive set and held on to close the match in 2 hours, 34 minutes at the Ibirapuera Arena. The 32-year-old Italian squandered a match point before losing the second set, but was in control in the third to pick up the win in the ATP 250 tournament in South Americas biggest city. Lorenzi, who had 12 aces, made it to the semis for the first time after five quarterfinal losses in his career. "Im very happy to finally breakthrough to the semifinals," Lorenzi said. "Ive had a lot of opportunities before but was never able to come up with the victory at this stage. For sure this is one of my greatest weeks on the tour." The 43rd-ranked Monaco, a former top 10 in the world, was trying to win his 200th clay-court match. He is the fifth-greatest winner in the surface, behind Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo and Nicolas Almagro. Wholesale NFL Jerseys Free Shipping. . Monaco had a set point in the first set but couldnt capitalize on it. "It was a very close match, he had his chances in the first set and I had mine in the second, it was very difficult," Lorenzi said. The Italian will play either top-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany or Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, who play their quarterfinal match later Friday. In the other quarterfinal Friday, Federico Delbonis of Argentina easily beat Alberto Montanes of Spain 6-4, 6-3 in just over an hour. He will play either home-crowd favourite Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil or Martin Klizan of Slovakia. The 61st-ranked Delbonis had upset three-time Brazil Open champion Almagro in the second round. Defending champion Rafael Nadal is not playing at the clay-court tournament this year. He chose to play at the first edition of the Rio Open, which he won last week. ___ Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni ' ' '


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