He is quiet. He is grumpy. He cannot consistently hit a jump shot or a free throw. His defense is spotty at best. He can be the most dazzling and the most frustrating player to watch in the matter of seconds. He is also the best passing point guard in the NBA, and the best player on the 2014-15 Boston Celtics. He is also a free agent after the season, and if the reports are true, Rajon Rondo is looking for a max contract.
The NBA is a league where teams only need two or three stars, and they are championship contenders. Is Rajon Rondo a star on a championship team? Is he worth a maximum contract? Does he deserve to be paid like LeBron James and Kevin Durant? The answer is absolutely not. However, the Boston Celtics are a team without any stars. They need to find a way to acquire these stars. Along the way, the team may be forced to pay Rondo. If not, he needs to be dealt sooner rather than later for assets. What do the Celtics do with Rajon Rondo? Here is their dilemma.
How many teams really want Rajon Rondo and what do they have to give the Celtics?
As good a pure point guard as Rondo is, there are very few teams that would be interested in his services. Some of the teams that have a strong desire for Rondo have nothing to offer the Celtics, and would need to get a third team involved to make a trade happen. That leaves the Celtics with as little as four maybe five suitors for Rondo’s services:
1. Detroit Pistons
The obvious choice. A team with two big men in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond that would be of huge interest to the Celtics. The Pistons also have Rondo’s pal Josh Smith there as well. This is my first choice, and Danny Ainge should be on the phone badgering Pistons GM Jeff Bower. Monroe or Drummond are exactly what the Celtics need.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
The dream choice. The team continues to have issues and the Cavs desperate to keep LeBron happy swap Kryie Irving for Rondo. Rondo has been to the finals twice with a championship in 2008. I will drive Rondo to the airport for this one.
3. Charlotte Hornets
Hey Michael Jordan is involved. Anything can happen. Would you take Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? Haverhill’s own Noah Vonleh? Danny might be interested. He is collecting assets after all, and he would have to consider this as an option.
4. Sacramento Kings
Does Ben Mclemore excite you? I hope not. Kings just do not have enough to get Rondo.
5. Houston Rockets
They want Rondo desperately to go with James Harden and Dwight Howard, but they would need to get a third team involved to make a deal for Rondo. Chandler Parsons would have been a start, but screwed that up royally over the summer.
As February’s trade deadline slowly creeps closer, the rumors will start. Most of these rumors certainly will go nowhere. At best, the Celtics are at least two years away from being a decent team. Danny Ainge needs to find the best possible return for Rajon Rondo, and ship him out of town. It’s all about acquiring more assets until the Celtics can start landing big fish. It worked in 2007 when Danny was able to parlay all of his assets to acquire Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. I think that re-build worked out well.
Follow Shaun on twitter @spc73