Every team in the NBA would love to have a player with Rajon Rondo‘s skill set. Come the trade deadline, some team out there just might be able to pry him away from the Boston Celtics.
A day after Rondo made his season debut in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, a report surfaced that Rondo was “likely on the move” this year, either during the season or on draft night. The Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets are named as the main interested parties, although no specifics are given as to who or what the Celtics would get in return.
“Rondo probably isn’t going to accept a role in a rebuilding situation with a rookie coach, Brad Stevens, so look for [Danny] Ainge to try to move him to the West, with Phoenix and Houston seen as two possible destinations,” Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News writes. “Dallas has always had interest in the four-time All-Star, who blew out his right knee last January, but Mark Cuban doesn’t have the assets to make it work.”
The Suns and Rockets could use Rondo, for two very different reasons. Eric Bledsoe, who is out indefinitely with a meniscus tear, has likely priced himself out of Phoenix for his impending free agency this summer. (Rondo is signed through next season at just under $13 million.) In Houston, Jeremy Lin‘s inconsistency has motivated the Rockets, who have title aspirations, to look for point guard help.
A couple of slight details in the report don’t seem to jell with the Celtics’ current reality, however. For one, Rondo has expressed no issues — either through his words or actions — with playing under Stevens or with leading the Celtics’ rebuilding process. Also, Ainge clearly has no reservations trading players within his conference, as he did when he sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets last summer. There’s no reason to assume he is limiting his search to the West.