NBA Talk: Where Rondo could go

Posted by Andrew Shi

Recently there has been news of a Knick's attempt to trade for the Celtic's Rondo. While Rondo would be a great fit in the Knick's starting lineup, the pieces for a successful trade are not there. Celtic's GM Danny Ainge also seems adamant that Rondo will not be traded, but for the right price Ainge would probably trade his own kids away.

Two other teams have recently been brought up as prospective destinations for Rondo: the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Houston Rockets is an unlikely fit for Rondo as James Harden essentially plays the point. Rondo fits best in a lineup where the accompanying shooting guard can cut and shoot on a dime (think Ray Allen). A Rondo-Harden backcourt would be redundant and a poor use of Rondo's talents. What Houston really needs in its starting lineup is a second shooting guard.

The Lakers would be a more interesting fit for Rondo. Kobe is also a player that likes the ball in his hands but his play with Nash last year was a bright in an overall failed experiment. The Lakers also currently have a 2014 first round pick to give away and many expiring contracts that the Celtics would likely be willing to pick up in exchange for dumping heftier contracts onto the Lakers along with Rondo. Yet, as rumors have it, the Lakers are unwilling to pick up cumbersome contracts with a highly anticipated 2014 free agency.

It's unlikely that Rondo, if traded, will end up in New York, Houston or LA, but there are still a few places that could use the services of Rondo and may be willing to trade away the pieces necessary for him.

Dallas right now has the fire power that is keeping it afloat in the Western Conference but it is currently fourth in points allowed at 104 per game. Rondo is widely regarded as the top, if not one of the top defensive point guards in the league. He would be a huge upgrade over Maverick's current point guard, Jose Calderon, who is at times more porous than a sponge. The Mavericks also have a 2014 draft pick to give away, one that could be very high if the Knicks continues to play worthy of the gutter. However, Calderon's current contract is for four years at a grand total of $29 million which is something the Celtics will be very reluctant to take on. Perhaps if the Celtics can trade a few additional burdensome contracts to the Mavericks, such as Wallace's in exchange for Shawn Marion's expiring contract, the two teams may be able to work something out.

The other team Rondo may be destined for is the Sacramento Kings who tried to sign Calderon this past summer. Currently the Kings have Grevis Vasquez playing point. While Vasquez is a top distributor and led the league in assists last year, he is still a tier below Rondo. The Kings are ready for a push for the playoffs, and Rondo will expedite the process. The Kings have already given their 2014 draft pick away, but they have plenty more in the future to give for Rondo. Vasquez is also on an expiring contract which will entice Ainge.

Point guard is the deepest position in the NBA and it will be difficult to move Rondo. Much also depends on Rondo's ability to bounce back from his torn ACL and play at the same level he has in years past. Otherwise, his depleted stock may just keep him in Boston for the time being. However, Rondo (at least pre-injury) was a top five point guard and an All-star, and there will be plenty of teams looking into his services in the weeks to come.

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