Report: Celtics and Lakers discussed a Rajon Rondo trade months ago

While shooting down the notion that the recent meal between Rajon Rondo and Kobe Bryant was anything more than a meal, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne had some interesting tidbits about Rondo potentially ending up in purple and gold.

From her article:

While there are no active talks between the two franchises involving a trade for Rondo, sources said the teams did have a brief discussion a few months ago.

It's not clear which team initiated the call.

Rondo will be a free agent this summer, and sources stressed that the Celtics would prefer to re-sign him.

Their willingness to engage in talks regarding Rondo is merely informational at this point, sources said.

However, the Lakers have long held interest in the point guard, who helped Boston defeat them in the 2008 NBA Finals, and sources indicate he is high on their list of free-agent targets this summer.

So Boston and the Lakers talked about a possible Rondo deal at some point this past summer, but the talks didn't go very far. That's likely because the Lakers don't have a ton of assets to offer for Rondo. Their draft pick situation is pretty bad. They owe their first-round pick in the next draft to the Phoenix Suns, unless it's in the top-5 which is possible, and owe their 2017 first rounder to the Orlando Magic, via the Dwight Howard trade. The Lakers do own the Houston Rockets' first rounder in the next draft, via the Jeremy Lin trade, but that doesn't figure to be too great of a pick.

Due to the Ted Stepien rule, which says teams can't trade away future first rounders in consecutive years, the only first-round picks the Lakers have to deal would be either their own or Houston's this year, or both, and a first in 2019. The Lakers could try to swing other side deals to get some lower valued first rounders in order to get around the Stepien rule, but they don't exactly have a ton of talent on the roster to offer, which is another obstacle in a Rondo trade.

The other crucial bit of that section from Shelburne is Rondo being a target for the Lakers when he becomes a free agent this summer. That's not exactly breaking news, but its another confirmation that Boston will have to compete with other teams for Rondo's services. As Shelburne notes, the team does still plan on re-signing him.

As for getting a deal done before the deadline, Shelburne doesn't sounds too keen on the idea.

Should the teams re-engage in discussions about Rondo, sources indicated Boston likely would ask for at least one first-round draft pick.


The Lakers could include Steve Nash, who has been ruled out for the season with a back injury. Nash is making $9.7 million this season, the final year of a three-year contract with the Lakers.

However, league sources indicate the Lakers have thus far been reluctant to engage in discussions including their first-round draft picks after working so hard this past offseason to acquire a pick this season.

Her collegaue, and former Celtics beat reporter, Baxter Holmes threw out a similar proposal.

Getting a couple first rounders for Rondo wouldn't be a bad package, but after looking at what those picks could be, it's not very enticing. The Lakers would likely have to bring in a third team to give Boston President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge that king's ransom he's said to be asking for. In other words, don't hold your breath for this one. The real test will come this summer. Then we'll see if all of Rondo's talk of wanting to stay here was for real or just bluster.

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