Celtics Receive: Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin, Donatas Montiejunas, Protected First Round Pick
Rockets Receive: Rajon Rondo, Brandon Bass
Has Rondo's run with the Celtics come to an end? It's been a great seven years in Boston for Rondo but Brad Stevens has ushered in a new era, and it is unknown how on-board Rondo is. The Celtics would of course love to retain the leader of the team, after losing Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen in recent years, but the Danny-Ainge-led front office would hate to lose such a talented player to the 2015 free agency.
Recently, the Celtics have been drawn into trade talks by both the Rockets and Kings. Although neither has had an enticing enough offer in order to provide the Celtics with an impetus to trade, the mere fact that the Celtics have listened to offers demonstrates that Boston is willing to trade their superstar should the right offer come.
Despite Rondo's sub-par season thus far (9.8 points, 7.1 assists, 16.1 PER), he is viewed as an elite point guard recovering from an injury, not a formerly great player on the decline. However, Rondo has likely reached his peak and it seems sensible to trade him now, when Rondo is still so valuable.
Rondo, the former All-Defensive First Team award winner, is also a player who thrives with other greats, and, as he is primarily a distributor and team player, excels at making other stars better (he could do just that with the Rockets), not leading a team to success single-handedly. Unless, the Celtics plan on winning a championship in the next two years, it doesn't make sense to lock Rondo into the organization.
That right offer did not come from the Kings. They reportedly offered Isaih Thomas, Ben Macklemore, and future picks for the Kentucky alumni. The Celtics turned it down, crushing Sacramento's dream of assembling a team that could actually do something in the playoffs, with a core of Rondo, Gay, and Cousins.
Now, the Rockets are reportedly eyeing Rondo. With some valuable assets on the block, the Rockets could provide a new point guard and center to a Boston team who could, if they lost Rondo, really use a true point guard. Jeremy Lin would fit that mould, and provide experience and the work ethic that Brad Stevens loves to a city that would love to be Linsanitized.
The Rockets would also be more than happy to get rid of the want-away big man, Omer Asik, and the Celtics would be thrilled to have him. The talented Turkish center has been in the shadows this season because of the signing of Dwight Howard. He can still play at a high level, however, and is one of the great defensive players and rebounders in the game today. He would provide the Celtics with the defensive and rebounding presence that is necessary for championship teams (unless you happen to be named the Heat) and that is so hard to find.
This deal makes sense for both teams, providing the Celtics with two valuable assets for the future, and giving the Rockets the piece that could push them over the top, along with a solid power forward in Brandon Bass (15.1 PER).
A Rondo and Bass for Asik and Lin switch would shake the league down to its roots, providing the Celtics with a solid team with all the assets to be great and only in need of a crucial center piece, and, more entertainingly, making the Rockets instant title contenders.
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