Rajon Rondo is the lone great player remaining on the Boston Celtics‘ roster after they traded Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets over the past offseason. The Celtics also have a new coach; rookie head coach Brad Stevens is now steering the ship with the Celtics. With the team in clear rebuilding mode, is Rondo going to want to stick around for all of the losing?
Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News says in a column that the Celtics are going to look to trade Rondo prior to the Feb. 20 NBA Trade Deadline in order to stockpile picks in the upcoming drafts. Lawrence notes that the Celtics already have 17 picks in the next five drafts.
One team that comes to mind as a team that may look to acquire Rondo is the New York Knicks, and the reason is Carmelo Anthony. If there is one thing we have learned over the past few seasons, particularly with the Miami Heat and the Dwight Howard saga, it is that the NBA is now a league run more by the players than the coaches and general managers. Anthony wants to play with Rondo, and with the Knicks’ star small forward hitting free agency after the season, the Knicks may want to do whatever it takes to acquire the Celtics’ point guard.
There are a few problems that could arise during trade talks between the Knicks and Celtics. First, the obvious one — the Celtics may ask for much more than the Knicks are willing to give up. Secondly, the Celtics may decide against trading Rondo to a team within their conference — they may prefer to move him to a Western Conference team.
At this point, the Knicks need to decide what is more important, the future, which would be trading Anthony, or the present, trading for another star to put next to Anthony. The best course of action, if they were to ask me, would be to trade Anthony and try to find takers for other large contracts like Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith, but they probably won’t do that.