The last piece of the Celtics’ 2008 championship team may be gone pretty soon.
Doesn’t Seem to Fit
After failing to land any of the top free agents in this offseason, the Celtics are looking at another tough season. They have added two solid pieces by grabbing Marcus Smart and Jamey Young from the 2014 draft to add to their young core that is led by Avery Bardely, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller.
The Celtics also bagged Marcus Thornton from the Nets but the team doesn’t look like it will be championship caliber in the next five years, and for Rajon Rondo, that would be a downgrade from the days of Pierce, Garnett and Allen where they dominated the Eastern Conference with ease.
Rondo becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season, and while the Celtics have continually denied rumors that their captain is on the trading block, it is “unlikely” that he will want to go for a “rebuilding ride” with the young Celtics.
Reports from Sports Talk’s Tyler Spence last week pointed to Rondo going west to the Sacramento Kings. In that reported deal, the Celtics would be receiving a trade package that includes Ben McLemore and Derrick Williams.
The Kings were one of the teams who made a strong effort to get Rondo before last season’s trade deadline, but the Celtics eventually decided to keep their star point guard.
he Kings’ interest in Rondo was renewed, especially after they let starting point guard Isaiah Thomas walk away in a sign and trade deal last month. Thomas was a vital cog in the Kings’ 2014 season as he averaged career highs in scoring (20.3 PPG) and assists (6.3 APG).
But according to the twitter account of the Basketball Insiders, both the Celtics and Kings are “adamantly denying that a Rajon Rondo deal is being discussed.”
Rondo’s stat line can be deceiving. His career averages of 11.1 points, 8.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game may look ordinary. But the 8 year veteran is a unique superstar who isn’t afraid to do anything to make his team better. Rondo has proven that he can score the points, but he’s very willing to play tough defense and do the dirty work just to win.
Of course, what makes Rondo truly special is his passing and playmaking abilities. Add the fact that he has that all important NBA championship in his resume which makes him very valuable.
The Celtics may not be making the move right now, as they may be looking for the equitable return for Rondo. But they can’t expect him too to hang around for their rebuilding process while he is in his prime. Rondo is 29 and isn’t getting any younger. Expect the Celtics to deal their superstar point guard before he walks away and leaves the team with nothing in return.