With Boston obviously going through a rebuilding stage, Rajon Rondo reportedly wants out, according to Jackie MacMullan who spoke candidly about the Celtics’ situation in an untelevised video from ESPN’s Around the Horn set.
Though her statements were not a report — she was simply talking to other reporters off air — this news shouldn’t surprised anyone. Rondo would have probably been dealt at some point whether he wanted it or not.
After the re-signing of Avery Bradley and drafting of Marcus Smart, it was a sure sign Rondo wouldn’t be there much longer. It was almost like the whole Kevin Love situation: we knew he’d be dealt, just didn’t know when.
Well, Danny Ainge, Love is now in Cleveland, and suddenly your point guard wants out. And given how often Rondo’s name has come up in trade rumors in recent years, you probably wouldn’t mind dealing him. So just do it!
Well, it may not be that easy.
Rondo is a top tier point guard in this league, and saying it will be hard to trade him may sound stupid, but it’s true.
Rajon Rondo is a unique player. He probably battles Chris Paul as the purest point guard in the NBA, and he makes a strong case. He plays the role of point guard extremely well, averaging 9.8 assists and 1.3 steals per in 30 games last season (ACL). He may not be the most efficient shooter, but he’ll get you 10-15 points a night and rebound very well for his position. He’ll even play some defense.
So, you may be thinking, why would it be so hard to trade this guy?
To be completely honest, it really has nothing to do with him specifically. It’s all Ainge that is holding back this trade. Rondo is visibly a great player and could really push an on-the-bubble team — like the Pacers — to new heights. Back in February, ESPN reported Houston was interested in a trade with the C’s, but Boston asked for Chandler Parsons in return.
Houston then hung up the phone, as Ainge was obviously out of his mind.
Where else can Boston go from here?
New York seems interested in pairing him with ‘Melo next offseason, but as far as a trade goes, they don’t have much to offer Boston. Lakers? They’re saving their cash for the 2016 free agency market. Miami? Same scenario as NY.
The trade partner that would make the most sense is Sacramento. With the opportunity to replace Isiah Thomas and team up with Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins, Rondo should want to go to Sac-Town, right? Nope, he won’t re-sign there and has already told the Kings, according to MacMullan in the video.
Seems like both sides are getting picky here, but there is still one team we have to talk about: Indiana.
Larry Bird has made it clear that the Pacers will not be tanking this year, and he seems willing to ship Roy Hibbert away, as he reportedly offered the All-Star center for Greg Monroe and Goran Dragic at different points in the summer.
A straight-up swap with Rondo and Hibbert works, but Ainge may want more than that, given that Roy can opt out of his contract next summer. And Bird might not be willing to give up more than that.
Yes, he reportedly did offer up Chris Copeland and some cash along with Big Roy for Dragic, but Dragic will also only make $7.5 million this upcoming season. Acquiring talent is on Bird’s mind, but so is having some more cushion with the salary cap.
After what all has happened this offseason, nothing would surprise me with Bird. I’ve been looking at every trade/signing possibility this summer with the “we’ll see” mentality, and I’ll do the same here.