For the last few seasons, people have been expecting the Celtics’ big 3 (consisting of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett) to break up. We knew they were getting older and couldn’t carry this team forever. We saw that breakup start to take place when Ray Allen left for Miami last year. This offseason, Celtics GM, Danny Ainge traded away Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets. The Celtics will now rely more heavily on Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green to carry the load. The Celtics also traded their coach, Doc Rivers, to the L.A. Clippers. (Yes, you actually can trade a coach). Ainge then plucked Brad Stevens from Butler to be the new head coach of the Celtics. Stevens is considered a bright, young coach with a lot of potential. But some experts are concerned about how Rondo will react to all the changes, especially if the Celtics are losing. Rondo has had a history of butting heads with coaches and teammates in the past, which cause some to fear how this coach-star partnership will play out.
Most fans and experts assume that the Celtics are in rebuild mode. The recent success of teams like the Thunder and Bulls have caused more teams to build through the draft. And this is the perfect year to do that, because there are many talented freshmen in college basketball expected to declare. At the top of that list is Andrew Wiggins, small forward for Kansas, who everyone expects to be the 1st overall pick in the upcoming draft and there are plenty other talented players expected to go in the draft that could change a team’s future for the better.
Rondo is coming back from ACL surgery. He has already said that he plans on taking his time recovering from this injury. You can’t help but wonder if he should take a year off like another star point guard in Derrick Rose. Even if Rondo comes back mid-season, Celtics will probably have a losing record and a slim chance at making the playoffs. This has caused some to wonder if the Celtics might be better off tanking so they can try to get a future superstar from this loaded draft class. All of these factors have caused rumors that the Celtics are shopping Rondo. It wouldn’t be the first time, Danny Ainge has always had a history of gauging the interest that other teams have in his star players.
Anytime that theres speculation that a star could get traded, you can’t help but think of possible scenarios. We’ll be listing more scenarios in the future, but I wanted to go over a popular one now:
Rondo to the Kings.
Grantland writer, Bill Simmons suggested a scenario which would involve the Celtics moving out Rondo, Gerald Wallace and MarShon Brooks for Ben McLemore, Greivis Vasquez (expiring), Patrick Patterson (expiring), John Salmons (expiring) and Jimmer Fredette. Boston would also have the option to swap 1st round draft picks with Sacramento for 3 years.
The Kings are a team that many feel are 1 piece away from being a perennial playoff team. The problem with scenario is that the salaries for the teams wouldn’t match. Kings would be receiving too much in salary for this to work within the rules.
Even if the GMs found a way to make this work this is still a risky trade for several reasons. Pairing Rondo with talented center Demarcus Cousins could make for a formidable 1-2 punch but both guys have reputations of being disruptive in the locker room at times which could cause issues with team chemistry. Another concern is that Rondo is coming off major knee surgery and there is no guarantee that he will be the same player he was before. He also will no longer have the luxury of playing with multiple future hall of famers like he did in Boston. Will he still be as effective with a weaker supporting cast? Also, Rondo will also be due for an extension after next season, and you can bet that he’ll be looking for a max contract. This could make the new Kings ownership hesitant to commit those type of dollars to someone with plenty of question marks.
Personally, I’d sit Rondo out for the season, tank, and pair Rondo with a player in this upcoming draft.