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In less than 48 hours, the Celtics and Nets will finalize their mega-deal, and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will officially be gone. It's going to be tough to see them go, but at the very least most Celtics fans understand the deal. Boston needs to rebuild, and picking up three first round picks in exchange for two guys on the wrong side of 35 is a good deal for the long term future of the team.

However, those same fans will not be nearly as understanding if the team now turns around and deals the only other superstar on the roster, Rajon Rondo, this summer. Unlike the aging Pierce and Garnett, Rondo is only 27 years old, and still very much in the midst of his prime.

As of now Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens are saying all of the right things, that Rondo isn't going anywhere, that he's the guy they're going to build around.

But that doesn't mean they're not looking.

Dallas has reportedly come calling, and Detroit has interest in Rondo after landing his good pal Josh Smith. We even laid out the top five possibilities right here on CelticsLife.

One team not on that list? The New York Knicks. But if reports are correct, Carmelo Anthony would very much have liked to see the Knicks make a run at Rondo before the team instead turned their attention to Andrea Bargnani. From the New York Post.

So far, the Knicks are one of a small handful of clubs who haven’t agreed to terms with an outside free agent. Boston is another one. Blame it on the new collective bargaining agreement.

Anthony told friends after the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade to the Nets, he figured the Knicks would make a play for point guard for Rajon Rondo. Anthony believes Rondo would be the perfect piece and would be super motivated in New York to attempt to knock off Garnett and Pierce.

Rondo, Pierce and Garnett all in New York next summer? Sheesh.

Of course, this is all a moot point now. The Knicks dealt Steve NovakMarcus Camby (and their $7 million combined price tag), plus two picks to Toronto for Andrea Bargnani, thus ending any realistic pursuit of the Celtics guard.

Of the nine players currently under contract with New York, none really fit in a deal for Rondo.

Carmelo is untouchable.

Amare (2 years, $45 million), Chandler (2 years, $29 million), Bargnani (2 years, $23 million), J.R. Smith (4 years, $28 million), and Raymond Felton (2 years, $9 million) are either overpaid or just not fits for a rebuilding club (and if Boston trades Rondo, they'll be fully bottoming out).

And then Iman Shumpert, Pablo Prigioni and Tim Hardaway Jr. all make too little money to make a deal work, even if Boston was interested (which they wouldn't be unless multiple picks were attached).

In other words, the Rondo to NYC ship has sailed. It doesn't mean the Celtics won't deal #9 at some point, just that Rondo won't be heading to New York to team with Carmelo in an effort to take down Pierce and Garnett.

Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13

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Michael Dyer 7/10/2013 12:40:00 PM Edit
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