According to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, at some point this year, or last year, or whenever, the Knicks “snubbed a trade that would’ve brought Rajon Rondo to New York.” A little background here: in the story, Stephen A is going off on the Knicks for bumbling the Steve Kerr hiring which leads to several things that their star player, Carmelo Anthony is monitoring. One of them apparently, along the way, included some vague “snubbed trade” for Rondo.
Performing his due diligence, Anthony is paying attention to everything. Just like he has become more and more educated about what the Bulls, Lakers, Rockets, Clippers and others may have to offer as a future destination, he’s also paying attention to what the Knicks have to offer.
Melo knows the Knicks had a chance at LaMarcus Aldridge and blew it. He knows they snubbed a trade that would’ve brought Rajon Rondo to New York or Kyle Lowry in a separate deal. All year long he sat around, played hard and averaged 27 points per game, while the Knicks stood idly by and did nothing — primarily because Dolan wouldn’t allow them to, telling the team in multiple meetings that the players weren’t going anywhere.
And since he has hired Phil Jackson, who can say matters have gotten better?
There were the rumors earlier that Carmelo was trying to recruit Rondo to the Knicks, which their high school coach vouched for. Of course, rumors are rumors and you can believe what you want. But let’s entertain this even for a moment that there was some sort of trade that the Knicks (specifically owner Jim Dolan, as intimated by Stephen A) had decided not to make. What exactly do the Knicks have that the Celtics would want? Danny Ainge covets draft picks and friendly contracts at this point in the rebuild and the Knicks have neither. He has also made no secret that they need rim protection, so perhaps Ainge has an affinity for Tyson Chandler. But is Chandler, along with maybe Iman Shumpert or Tim Hardaway, Jr. enough for Rondo? Would you be happy with that?
Sure, as Celtics fans we could all be over valuing Rondo but looking over that Knicks roster, along with the dearth of draft picks, it’s difficult to imagine such a viable scenario. Keep in mind though, that Stephen A is the first and only one that predicted LeBron James would take his talents to South Beach. He was also the first to report the crazy-at-the-time rumors of Doc “getting traded” to the Clippers. Still, I’m skeptical that Ainge is enticed by anything New York has to offer, especially since he’s continually set the bar extremely high on any potential Rondo trade.
Like everything else in the C’s world, it all hinges on that first domino that is the NBA lottery on Tuesday. Once they know where they’ll be selecting, then Plans A-Z can begin to take shape.