The rumors I had hoped would die still won't. Chad Ford is the latest one to keep them alive (insider link) by suggesting Rondo is still the most likely player to be traded by March 15.
I know the Celtics are saying Rondo isn't going anywhere. But there are two problems with that. (1) It doesn't jibe with what a number of NBA GMs are saying based on conversations they've had with Celtics president Danny Ainge. (2) Ainge isn't stupid. He doesn't want to trade Rondo, but Rondo is the best chip he has to play right now.
If Ainge waits and does nothing, the Celtics will be a middling lottery team without much hope next season — in the same spot where Ainge inherited them a few years ago. He doesn't want to go back there. If he can get two pieces back for Rondo, I think he'll do it. Atlanta, Portland and Indiana are interesting destinations if they are willing to pay.
Ok, let's play this game.
Who would I want from Atlanta? Josh Smith (2nd on the list) isn't enough for me to give up Rondo. Hell, I barely want to give up KG for Smith. Then you'd have to give up other parts and it gets too complicated.
Portland? They've got one star: LaMarcus Aldridge, and they're not giving him up. That means the rest of any deal would be spare parts. And while I think Nicolas Batum would be a great role player here, that doesn't do anything for me.
Indiana? Unless they're giving up Granger or West, everyone on that roster makes about $3 million or less. And I don't see a package that makes sense for both teams.
And do any of those teams have any draft picks that will be so much better than Boston's we have to get it for a shot at a top pick this year? Nope. Portland is the worst of those teams, muddling along and fightihng for an 8th seed. So they're probably going to have a pick right around the middle of the draft… right where the C's will probably be.
So we can continue to blah, blah, blah about where Rondo may or may not go. I'm open to a trade that make sense. Other than the Chris Paul rumors at the beginning of the season, nothing has.