According to many sources, the New York Knicks have offered a trade in hopes of landing Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo earlier this week. The trade allegedly involved forwards Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert. Evidently, the Celtics denied the trade and are not willing to deal Rondo at this time. This trade would be awful for the Celtics and the team is smart to turn it down. There are two major reasons this trade is bunk.
This trade does not make sense for the Celtics financially. Amar’e Stoudamire, who is clearly not the player he once was, is set to earn $45 million in the next two years. On the other hand, Rondo is set to make a “Boston-friendly” $24 million in the next two years. Both contracts expire after the 2015 season. There is no logic in taking an extra $20 million against the cap for a 31 year old who plays a position the Celtics already have too much depth in. The only scenario the Celtics should consider taking on a contract like Stoudamire’s is if they are able to involve players like Gerald Wallace or Courtney Lee. Lee and Wallace’s contracts do not expire until after the 2016 season, and that would be an exceptionally smart trade on the Celtics’ part. But even if there is a way Lee and Wallace could be involved, are the pieces the are Celtics receiving worth letting Rondo go?
Despite his recovering knee injury, the pieces the Celtics are being offered are simply not enough for Rajon Rondo. No disrespect to Iman Shumpert, but he is not a sufficient return for a player like Rondo. I respect the heck out of Shumpert’s defense and hustle, but his offensive game is nothing to write home about. He has a career average of 8.3 points a game and only 2.3 assists. Believe me, I would love to see a backcourt comprised of Avery Bradley and Iman Shumpert, but certainly not at the cost of Rondo. By no means do I think Rondo is a franchise player or a “superstar”, however I do believe he is a special kind of player and is worth much more in regards to a trade. If the Celtics elect to trade Rondo, which should be considered, then GM Danny Ainge should aim at obtaining a lottery pick or a young, promising player in return. Judging by what NBA teams are looking for these days, I doubt any team would be willing to give up a young, promising star for Rondo. If they can get one, pull the trigger. Otherwise, keep Rondo until a better deal arises.
No thank you, Knicks. Unless New York can somehow offer Boston the Stoudemire of 2008, if Wallace or Lee are involved, or if Rondo is not involved, then the Celtics should not even give the trade a thought. The initial trade is terrible for the Celtics’ salary cap and the future of the team.