It’s not even January, yet trade winds involving Rajon Rondo are already swirling strong. According to Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears and Adrian Wojnarowski, the Boston Celtics have engaged in “serious” trade discussions surrounding their star point guard and are more willing than ever to deal him.
As much as ever in his nine seasons in Boston, the Celtics have left strong impressions with rival organizations that they’re prepared to make a deal that includes Rondo, sources said. Boston has been engaged in discussions described as “serious” in recent days, but no trade agreement is imminent.
Boston’s asking price for Rondo remains “pretty high, probably higher than most want to pay,” one league official told Yahoo.
Trade talks with Rondo have been focused more in the Western Conference than Eastern, sources said.
This comes just two weeks after Kobe Bryant met with his long-respected rival in Bean Town before a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Celtics, fueling speculation that Mamba was recruiting Rondo to the purple-and-gold. Though Boston’s four-time All-Star refuted that speculation shortly thereafter, this report only lends credence to the notion that he could be bound for Los Angeles.
Rondo has been a consistent subject of trade rumors since this summer when news surfaced that he wanted to leave the Celtics. But Rondo and Danny Ainge later said that the preference of both parties would be for the Kentucky product to remain a Celtic for the long-haul.
What complicates Boston’s new willingness to trade Rondo is its asking price. The 28 year-old is a free agent after this season and will seek a max-level contract on the open market. Would a team be willing to acquire Rondo at or before February’s trade deadline with no assurance that he’ll re-sign come July?
Then there’s the issue of performance. Rondo’s free throw shooting woes have reached a nadir, and his true shooting percentage is a dismal 41.5. And despite some big box score numbers in recent games, the Celtics are actually 2.5 points per 100 possessions better offensively when he’s on the bench. If Rondo can’t shoot, is afraid to get fouled, and his wizard-like court sense isn’t leading to successful offense, just what is his value?
We’re sure it’s lower than Boston thinks. Should this report prove accurate, the question then is if other teams – like the Lakers – are clinging to Rondo’s reputation as opposed to his present influence in trade negotiations, as well.
What do you think?
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