The Dallas Mavericks could use an upgrade at point guard and the Boston Celtics don’t want to lose Rajon Rondo for nothing. The two could come together to drop a blockbuster deal on the NBA, per reports.
ESPN.com has reported that the Dallas Mavericks have suddenly emerged as the frontrunners to land Rondo. The current deal rumored to have been proposed could include big man Brandan Wright and a first round draft pick, although nothing is set in stone. Dallas isn’t alone, either, as the Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets are the other big contenders in trading for Rondo.
Sacramento was a strong candidate during the off-season before signing Darren Collison to a long-term deal. The team was hesitant to hold onto Isaiah Thomas due to their interest in Rondo, but nothing ever materialized. The Knicks and Lakers are solid contenders, but it’s anyone’s guess what they could (or would) give up to land the star point guard – especially without any guarantee he’d sign to a long-term deal. With both New York and Los Angeles fully in the rebuilding stage, it’d be curious to see if they’d part with one or more first round picks and risk mortgaging their long-term future on the chance Rondo sticks around.
Houston might be more appealing for Rondo, but they might be the least likely destination in terms of what the Celtics could get back. The Rockets have their two stars in James Harden and Dwight Howard, while most everyone else beyond them should at least be in the conversation for a trade. Rondo would be a major upgrade over Patrick Beverley at the point, but it might take Beverley and a handful of picks to get the deal done.
The Mavericks look like the key team to watch, as they have a very good team as it stands and have the luxury of being able to part with both a pick (or two), as well as some solid talent. Thanks to Tyson Chandler manning the middle of their defense, Wright can be made expendable. They could also throw in any number of guards to help the deal work, as Devin Harris, J.J. Barea, Raymond Felton and Jameer Nelson could be had.
If this deal goes down, an already playoff-bound Mavs team would only be better offensively thanks to Rondo’s passing and ability to break down defenses. It’s on defense where his impact could truly be felt, however, as the Boston has just one true defensive stopper (Chandler) and could really use a force on the ball. With Rondo in tow (even for just one season), the Mavs would be legit threats to make a run to the NBA Finals.
Boston, of course, would probably fall out of the playoff race if they traded away Rondo, as he’s the key to them barely hanging onto a low seed in the East’s playoff race at the moment. With Rondo gone, rookie Marcus Smart would undoubtedly take over point guard duties and a young Celtics team would struggle to make the playoffs.
Nothing is imminent, but the Mavs appear to be very intent on getting a deal done. That doesn’t mean they get Rondo, but it sounds like the Rajon Rondo rumors are heating up and it may not be long before he’s in a new jersey.