Could Kyrie Irving and Rajon Rondo Swap Teams?

By Michael LeDuc
Kyrie Irving and Rajon Rondo
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers are a complete mess, and the organization is sadly going down the toilet. Cleveland just fired their GM Chris Grant as a result of their recent woes. With four Top-5 draft picks that last three years, the Cavaliers were expected to be a serious playoff team by now and most certainly have the talent to be just that. Even with newly acquired Luol Deng, Cleveland still can’t figure it out. Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving should all be trade bait with the latter headed to the Boston Celtics.

It may sounds crazy or unlikely, but Irving has already expressed that he doesn’t want to be in Cleveland. The ball-dominant point guard hasn’t worked well with the personnel on Cleveland’s roster. Although he has undeniable offensive traits, he lacks a team-oriented mind. The Cavs have a decision to make: either trade the former No. 1 pick or trade the other talented youngsters on the roster. Imagine if another star left Cleveland. The city would be devastated.

The Cavs should consider trading Irving, and Rajon Rondo would make great compensation. While Irving can put the ball in the hoop, Cleveland would be better off spreading the wealth around. Rondo could do just that. The last two games Rondo is averaging 13.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 10.5 assists and 2.5 steals while returning to form. Despite his scoring inefficiencies, Rondo runs an offense beautifully and makes his teammates better.

Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson would greatly benefit from a point guard like Rondo. It’s especially obvious that Irving and Waiters don’t work well together. However, Waiters is a very talented scorer, and Rondo would be able to create countless opportunities for him that Irving never could . Rondo is also excellent at feeding the ball into the post and to cutters headed to the basket. Thompson would see a jump in production with Rondo on the floor.

Luol Deng’s happiness would be another benefit that the Cavaliers would reap in this trade. Deng would most likely be satisfied playing alongside another veteran on the floor. If Rondo can make an impact on this team, it may be enough for Deng to stay and sign with Cleveland if it meant he was playing with the 27-year-old point guard and 2008 champion.

There is no denying how great of a player Irving is, but he may not be the best fit for the team. Cleveland is desperate and should be looking to make the playoffs now. With the addition of Rondo they could achieve that goal and the team would be much better off. The only downside would be how the move affects the team long term. Rondo is set to be a free agent in after 2015 and Deng’s contract expires after this season. Nonetheless, if these players can get locked up it’ll be a great move for Cleveland.

As for the Celtics, they would acquire a younger point guard who can score and has unlimited potential. Playing alongside Avery Bradley instead of Waiters would work out better for Irving. The team-oriented, defensive philosophy of Brad Stevens might able to transform the 21-year old point guard. Just being in the Celtics’ traditional and historic environment may assist Irving’s growth and maturity.

If Irving bought into the “Celtic Way”, they could potentially have a franchise cornerstone that will grow and learn the game with the young coach Stevens and young players Bradley, Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger. On the other hand, Cleveland would improve mightily with Rondo at the helm, and all of their youngsters could essentially blossom into better players.

Boston would offer Rajon Rondo along with a first-round draft pick or two for the Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving and Alonzo Gee. It may be a dream scenario, but it’s a scenario both sides should consider.

Michael LeDuc is a Boston Celtics writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @mike_leduc, and add him on Google.

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