As Thursday's Trade Deadline approaches, Celticslife continues to present you the reader, with possible landing locations for current Celtics. And none of these features, figure to anger Celtics Nation more than this one. Rajon Rondo is a beloved superstar, a possible building block, and has been playing relatively well all things considered. Those things may be true. But there's a reason rumors regarding his asking price leak out; like it not, the Boston Celtics are willing to trade Rajon Rondo.
And that's what any good franchise should do. It's not that Danny Ainge and Celtics management WANT to trade their all-star point guard, it's that there smart enough to be willing to do just about anything if it means improving this teem's future.
So with that in mind, let's explore three possible Rajon Rondo trades that could happen before the deadline:
The Charlotte Bobcats
Why the Bobcats?
1. Charlotte is a year away from becoming the Charlotte Hornets. It's a great decision that will likely bring more eyes on Charlotte's NBA team than they've seen since Petey Pablo was prevalent. That's a great thing for a team that really struggles to put butts in seats. With that in mind, at the very least it makes business sense for them to want to make a bit of a 'splash.' And something just seems right about wanting to rebrand around Rajon Rondo; He's not just a highly talented, relatively young NBA All Star with potential to improve, but he's also incredibly marketable - He has a calm, cool demeanor to him, and he's an absolute delight to watch.
2. The rumors surrounding around the Bobcats willingness to part with a first round pick for the 76ers' Evan Turner, show us that they're both being aggressive, and irresponsible with the assets they have. That's music to Danny Ainge's ears. And while the Charlotte Bobcats aren't very good, they have plenty of interesting parts: Young assets in Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd Gilchrist, and Cody Zeller, expiring deals in Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions, and a decent amount of picks; they own Portland's first round pick (top 12 protected) as well as Detroit's (top 8 protected). And while they do owe Chicago their pick this year, it does have top 10 protection.
That leads us to a few interesting options. They could group together a combination of prospects and picks (something like this, plus a pick,) or they could give up only one or two of those assets but take back Gerald Wallace (who is still well liked in Charlotte). While these aren't the sexiest sounding options, if the games gaining assets while increasing financial flexibility Charlotte's got enough to make you want to take take your shirt off, twist it around your hand and spin it like a helicopter.
The Los Angeles Lakers
Ew, right? Ew. We all agree on this. Just doesn't feel right, agreed? But, does it make sense? Well, maybe.
The Celtics want picks, and really have no interest in the declining Pau. Getting rid of Nash leaves a few interesting options for the Lakers: They could potentially lure in a max free agent with a Rondo/Kobe combo, or they could resign Gasol on short money and look to be quazi-competitive for Kobe's remaining years before the rumored 2015 rebuild.
In regards to the 2015 offseason: While there's a lot of rumors in Laker-land about them wanting to keep flexibility open for multiple free agents (a class the could include former UCLA Bruins Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love), Rajon Rondo is an interesting 'plan b' for them if they were unable to lure in another point guard.
It might just be enough for them to be willing to surrender their 2014 first without any protection. And if that's the case, Danny Ainge might have his distaste for the Lakers to make this happen.
The Detroit Pistons
Greg Monroe and Jared Sullinger. Big man, bliss.
I mean, that much is self explanatory, right? I've said it before in a 'Comprehensive Guide' feature, but it just seems like these guys are destined to play together. Two terrific, young big guys. Both immensely talented. Both brilliant in their own ways. Both really, really good passers. Monroe, a little more prone to finding himself on the block. Sullinger, a little more likely to be 12-15 feet from the basket. It just seems right.
Past dreaming of the Webber & Divac like things those two could do together, things get a little complicated. While the Pistons would likely have to pay Monroe max money next season (when it's unclear if he's a good fit next to Andre Drummond), reports that ">the team is actively shopping Josh Smith makes one think that they're more than willing to bring the Moose back. At the very least it means that if they trade Monroe, it's only if Joe Dumars thinks the team would be improving their roster.
Even if a Rondo for Monroe (and Charlie Villanueva's expiring contract) was enough; a third team would need to be involved to take on Brandon Jennings. A player the Celtics would want absolutely nothing to do with. And his 7.7 million dollar contract could prove too difficult to move. A team like the Knicks could be interested, but that would mean the Pistons would have to be willing to take on JR Smith's contract to make the math work.
(note: I included Iman Shumpert in this trade to incentivize the Pistons to take back JR Smith)
If the Pistons were willing to do this, I'd also be interested to see if they'd be interested in Jeff Green as well. He'd be a pretty good fit, and would solidify a pretty impressive starting 5. Green's contract isn't horrible by any means, but for a team looking to rebuild like the Celtics it's just a little much too pay for a guy who can be best described as a poor man's Luol Deng.
Do all of these trades make sense? Some of them? None of them? Let us know in the comments section! MattDotRich 2/17/2014 07:19:00 PM Tweet Edit