It's the middle of summer, and to be honest..the Celtics hot stove has cooled quite a bit. Pierce, KG and Doc are long gone, the draft seems like ages ago, and the Celtics had their quietest free agency period in years. It has basically become a waiting game. Waiting to see if the team makes a salary cap cutting deal prior to training camp. Waiting to see if Rajon Rondo is healthy enough to start the season. Simply waiting for something to happen.
Speaking of Rondo, one thing that has been pretty consistent throughout the summer has been trade rumors surrounding the now 8th year point guard. In particular the new look Pistons continue to be linked to Rondo, with rumors continuing to swirl even after they signed point guard Brandon Jennings to a three year deal worth over $8 million per season.
When the latest report that Jennings signing wouldn't stop the Pistons from chasing after Rondo, one reason I laughed it off was that Rondo and Jennings could never co-exist with one another. Jennings is a usage rate monster, a low efficiency but high volume scorer and distributor that has the ball in his hands more often than not. Considering Rondo's entire game is predicated on making things happen with the ball (at a far more efficient clip than Jennings), the thought of the two playing on the same team is absurd.
But what if they were traded for one another? The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn briefly touched upon the Pistons possible desire to move Jennings for Rondo in his Sunday column.
Just because the Pistons acquired Brandon Jennings in a sign-and-trade deal with the Bucks doesn’t mean they’ve lost interest in Rajon Rondo. In fact, they could eventually use Jennings as a trade chip and seek to acquire Rondo. There are going to be several interested parties in Rondo, and that number could increase when he shows he’s fully recovered from anterior cruciate ligament surgery.
We touched on some of the reasons why this move is unlikely here, but here's an updated list of why this deal is incredibly unlikely.
1. Jennings cannot be traded until at least December 15th per the CBA.
2. The Pistons cannot trade a first round pick due to their deal with the Bobcats last summer in which they sent a protected first round pick to Charlotte in the Ben Gordon-Corey Maggette swap (although I have heard that Detroit could remove their protection, which is top-8 in 2014, sending the pick straight up to Charlotte in 2014 and allowing them to trade a 2016 pick in a separate deal. Still trying to confirm if this is possible. Would be a level of risk to remove protection in a loaded 2014 draft as well).
3. Detroit has thus far not made center Andre Drummond available. Drummond is entering his age 20 season and is considering one of, if not the pre-eminent young big man in basketball. Danny Ainge is sure to ask for him in any deal for Rondo, although it's unknown if he would "settle" for talented power forward Greg Monroe who is coming off of a breakout 16 PPG, 9 RPG season.
4. Rondo is coming off of a serious injury. I know that people shrug off ACL injuries in the post-Adrian Peterson world, but it is a huge hurdle to overcome. I have no doubt that Rondo can come back and be the player he was pre-injury, but until he's on the court doing stuff like this..his trade value will not be maximized. The best thing the Celtics can do is curb all of this trade talk and see what he looks like come November/December.
5. Jennings is horrifically inefficient. A career 39.4% shooter who shoots the ball nearly 16 times per game, Jennings entire game is based on volume. Give him enough shots, he'll score you points. But at what cost? Through his four seasons he has yet to prove that he is anything more than a talented yet raw point guard who can put up good stat totals on bad teams. Considering he's only 23, that could change. But taking that chance at the cost of Rondo is insane.
Whenever you can come up with a list that long of why a deal couldn't/shouldn't happen, it's never a good sign for the future of said deal. But it's something to keep an eye on as we get closer to December, as Detroit has seemingly never taken their eye off Rondo, and Joe Dumars is desperate to keep his job.
Desperate men will do a lot of things, possibly even trade 20 year old potential franchise centers.
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For more of my articles, click here Michael Dyer 8/04/2013 12:19:00 PM Tweet Edit