The Knicks have apparently targeted Rajon Rondo as the next savior of New York basketball

As the impending doom of Hurricane ‘Melo begins to pick up steam, expect more and more articles like the one that Brian Windhorst wrote on Christmas Day to start getting published with more and more frequency.

As part of an in-depth look at what exactly the Knicks are going to do in the future, Celtics All-Star Rajon Rondo’s name got brought up in a tangled web of speculation.

Here is the breakdown of the Rondo/Knicks “argument”. Spoiler alert: I don’t think it works.

Even as there has been growing speculation with Anthony's future, the Knicks seem to be quite sure he's going nowhere. And they've already got his help lined up.

According to league sources, the Knicks' first prong is to try to attract the Celtics' Rajon Rondo. This idea has been tossed around in various forms for a while now, it's not shocking. But the way the Knicks are hoping to get Rondo is a little unusual.

According to Danny Ainge himself, the Celtics have no interest in trading Rondo. Rondo has been discussed in a staggering amount of trades this season, none of which have made sense in anything but a NBA2k14-with-the-fair-trade-off scenario. At this point, the only traction a Rondo trade rumor is getting is a spike in internet page views.

It's not in free agency in 2015 but later this season or next summer when he comes back from a torn ACL. The Knicks are hoping Rondo will be interested in making a maneuver similar to what Anthony did back in 2011 and eventually try to force a trade to the Knicks, sources said.
Other than the fact that New York is a fashion mecca, what reason does Rajon Rondo have to go play for the Knicks? To that point, in this scenario, it wouldn’t matter because it wouldn’t be his choice. This would be some sort of trade before Rondo hits free agency. What could they possibly offer?

Sure- the Knicks could offer Felton, Amar’e, and/or Shumpert, but for Rondo? C’mon, son. The Celtics have already filled their Stars-for-Pieces quota for the year and it netted them a windfall of draft picks and cap space. How exactly is the Knicks organization going to offer that when they don’t have it to give?

The trade that sent ‘Melo to NY involved picks, cash, three teams, and a lot of players.

NYK received:

Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Corey Brewer, Renaldo Balkman, Sheldon Williams, Anthony Carter

Denver Nuggets received:

Danillo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, Raymond Felton, NYK 2014 first round pick, Two second round picks, $3M in cash

Timberwolves Received:

Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry, $3M in cash

What third team is going to be duped into getting into this ‘Melo quagmire again? Are David Kahn and Isiah Thomas co-GMs of a team we’re unaware of? Who’s jumping in this bucket of syrup exactly? A trade of this magnitude in a year that draft picks are viewed as winning lottery tickets would have to be so undeniably good for all teams involved… and this, so far, ain’t that.

The Celtics have consistently denied they want to trade Rondo. But once this trade deadline passes, and it isn't clear if he will even play before February, Rondo will have only one guaranteed season left on his contract. Like with Anthony when he applied pressure to the Denver Nuggets by threatening to leave in free agency, the Knicks wonder if Rondo will be able to have a say in where he might be traded if the Celtics end up fearful he'll leave in free agency.

Here is an easy way to look at trades vs. free agency: Trades benefit teams and free agency benefits players. Trades boil down to money and assets, while free agency boils down to money and career advancement.

If this is a deal to lure Rajon Rondo to the Knicks BEFORE he hits free agency, then it makes no sense for the Celtics because they have ZERO ASSETS THAT BENEFIT THE CELTICS. Amar’e doesn’t help the Celtics if you have to give up Rondo, the Knicks have no picks to offer, and financially this doesn’t help Boston. So. Why. Would. They. Do. This.

If this were a free agency thing- sure, going to New York is a possibility. So would be going to LA, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, Golden State, Memphis, Toronto, or any other team in the NBA. In free agency anything is possible.

That may seem contrived, yes, but this isn't a made-up scenario. It is a genuine option. You have to give the Knicks this: It has worked before.

Much like Danny Ainge in this situation, I don’t have to give the Knicks anything. Has it worked before? Sure. Is the road to NBA relevance littered with bad trades and deals that backfired? Yep! To say it has worked before would be like saying every Young Adult Fiction novel that gets turned into a movie is going to bring in Hunger Games money. And baby, that ain’t the case. Right, Mortal Instruments?

If that fails -- and who knows how Rondo will mesh with this Celtics team, it could work well and he could want to stay -- the Knicks fully believe they will get one or two of the following in free agency in 2015 when they expect to have large salary-cap space: Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Roy Hibbert, Marc Gasol, Tony Parker or Rondo when his contract is up. Under certain circumstances, James himself could be a free agent again that summer.

Sure. Ifs, ands, maybes, I wonders, and possiblys. Anything is possible. The “if all these pieces fall into place” game is a blast for the person setting up the puzzle. The problem is, it is not based in facts. The only fact mentioned in this article is that Rondo’s contract is up next year- so why don’t we reconnect when that circus comes back to town.

Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor

Photo Source: Steve Babineau/NBAE