The trade Rajon Rondo saga is blowing out of proportions, at least for right now. We first caught wind of Celtics General Manager offering Rajon for Chris Paul. Or was it the supposedly the offering of Rajon Rondo to the Oklahoma City Thunder? Either way, none of this makes a lot of sense right now with the season not officially under way.
Before I get onto the Chris Paul pros and cons, I want to knock off the rumor from Chris Broussard regarding Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green being offered to Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins. Luckily some of us read the league rules and understand what teams are allowed to do and not do. Trading restricted free agents within the same year you acquire is not one of them (Jeff Green). Trading a player back to the same team he was just traded to is another no-no (Kendrick Perkins). Conclusion to this rumor, sell it, stock will die. Even Chris tried to kill the hype with this tweet.
Now that we got that out of the way, we can focus on the real meat and potatoes. Chris Paul is without a doubt better than Rajon Rondo. He is better at shooting, passing, rebounding, assists, and leading his team. Below are the stats for both players, both regular season and postseason. There is no doubt now that Chris Paul is the better player.
Now lets look at the playoffs.
After we digest that as Celtic fans, we can continue to think rationally about this potential move. Why do the Celtics do this move? They instantly get better and become a contender again with Miami, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. Right now the team is on the outside of that group looking in but that debate is for another time. With Chris Paul, they will be feared again because he is that type of player.
We hear talks that he will not sign an extension if he is traded to the Boston Celtics, more talk from Chris Broussard. This sounds familiar. I get déjà vu when I hear this. That’s right, Kevin Garnett spoke similarly prior to being traded. I see the differences with the Celtics being a garbage team because acquiring Ray Allen and Chris Paul just being a brat with only one destination of choice. If he ends up on one of the 29 other teams, will he be unhappy? You don’t look too good here Chris, a lot of room for error.
If I were the Celtics, and possibly having the chance to grab Chris Paul, I do it. Even if he only lasts one season, I make the move because the goal is to win a championship the next season. Not to win one a few years down the road, but the goal is always to win a championship. Chris Paul instead of Rajon Rondo on this team gives them a chance.
Now, if the Celtics want to trade Rajon Rondo and do not net Chris Paul, I will probably feel differently about the situation. I would need the facts for an opinion obviously but all reports point to Chris Paul. Or if they do land Chris Paul with an extension signed and his knees end up not being rehabbed enough, that is just thinking way too far in advance. I am no doctor, but he did play 80 games the year after and made the playoffs, he will be fine.
Fortunately, Doc and Danny were available to the media to discuss the whirlwind of rumors. Whether or not you believe Danny Ainge in the press conference, and you have every right not to, but I believe him. He may have betrayed us when he traded Kendrick Perkins, and regardless of what Shaq says about Rondo being better than Chris Paul, I don’t think Danny trades Rondo. Now I could wake up on December 9th (first day of free agency) and find out that he has been traded. I will stick with my gut here. Danny covets Rajon more than I have seen anyone covet anything. He made a splash as a GM by acquiring Rondo for a few million bucks to the Phoenix Suns for their late first round draft pick. He traded everything besides Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins and Rajon for Kevin Garnett. Refusing to give up Rondo was slowing the process down.
We all just need to calm down with the trade rumor hoopla. As Celtics fans, lets just sit back and enjoy the potential last year of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen’s career. Focus on Banner 18, in which case, I see the aforementioned Hall of Famers hanging up their jerseys if that banner goes up. This season isn’t about trading Rajon or acquiring Chris Paul, it is about paying tribute to the end of this era and focusing next on what comes after.