Only one of the four (Rondo) is still an elite player at his position. The only point guards in the league currently in their prime who are better than Rondo are Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and Deron Williams. When you factor in Rondo’s low salary ($11, $12, $13 million the next three years), he’s one of the best bargains in the league, regardless of position.
So the Celtics want to trade their best player instead of building around him? That leads me to believe they can’t get anything for KG or Allen’s expiring deals (or don’t want to take on someone else’s bad contract), and nobody wants Paul Pierce, whose production is waning and who is due $32 million over the next two years.
And perhaps most important, Danny Ainge must really have an awful relationship with Rondo,
Why not just let the season play out and go into the offseason with a lot of cap room? (Maybe because the free agent class is weak?) Boston’s got too much talent to finish with a Top 10 draft pick, so in a loaded draft, they probably won’t even have a top 15 pick. They’ll likely make the playoffs as the 7th or 8th seed, throw a brief scare into Miami or
Boston Chicago and then stagger into the offseason unsure of the future.
The good news for Ainge is that he has a title and two finals appearances in the last four years to show for it. Before he shook things up, the Celtics went through the Pierce/Walker era (four straight playoff appearances, one loss in the conference Finals), and then missed the postseason twice (the days when Simmons wanted to fire Doc).
Now comes the down cycle … unless Ainge can magically parlay Rondo into a Top 5 pick and some talent. What are they going to do, try and ship Rondo to New Orleans to the Hornets for … Emeka Okafor and the top five pick? Of course not. Could they package Rondo with someone else and ship ’em to Orlando for Dwight Howard and something? Not sure why Howard would want to go to a franchise trending downward. What else is there?
I’m all ears, I just don’t see a deal for Rondo happening – at least not a deal Boston can “win.”
Celtics’ Rondo on the Block [ESPN Boston]