Jameer Nelson and Rajon Rondo
According to Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld.com, the Boston Celtics are interested in a Rajon Rondo for Pau Gasol swap with the Los Angeles Lakers. Days after Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell that he was interested in "a 25-year-old, All-Star, ball-handling guard" to pair with superstar Kobe Bryant, Pincus is reporting that the Celtics are open to dealing the talented Rondo in hopes of bolstering their weak frontcourt.
Obviously, no deal between the two rivals has come to fruition yet, so why don't the Orlando Magic jump into the rumors.
Despite the fact that Magic GM Otis Smith said no major deals were imminent just a week ago, the worst thing that a franchise who is about to lose their superstar can do is be complacent. If the Orlando Magic don't act fast and bring in another star to pair up with "Superman," D12 is as good as gone.
Since opening up the season with an impressive 10-3 record, the Magic have cooled down considerably, as they currently have a mediocre 15-10 record.
One of the main reasons for the drop off is the inconsistent play of Jameer Nelson.
Nelson, who was once an elite Eastern Conference point guard, is averaging career-lows in both points and field goal percentage. Plus, the eighth year veteran is averaging 2.5 turnovers, while only dishing out 5.5 assists per game. At times, backup point guard Chris Duhon looks more competent in the starting role. Ouch.
However, the offensive side of the ball is not the only place Nelson has been struggling. The former Saint Joseph star has become a liability on defense. Many times, Dwight Howard has had to bail Nelson out when his man blows by him and penetrates to the rim.
Is Rondo a good fit in Orlando?
Sure, Nelson's troubles on both sides of the court can be attributed to the fact that he has not been quite healthy this season due to concussion-like symptoms, but Nelson's game has been on a steady decline since tearing his labrum back in 2009.
Before the aforementioned devastating injury, Nelson was playing All-Star caliber basketball and putting up nearly 17 points per game. Since the injury, however, Nelson has not seen the same success and has many wondering if he will ever return to form.
So, why doesn't Orlando shake up their roster and go after All-Star guard Rajon Rondo. There is no doubt that the Celtics are willing to part with him, as his name has popped up in rumors many times. From the Oklahoma City Thunder to the New Orleans Hornets, the Los Angeles Lakers are not the first team the Boston Celtics have been interested in shipping Rondo to.
Plus, there have been rumors that Rondo has not been a great fit in the Boston Celtics' veteran locker room. Just this offseason, news broke that Rondo and coach Doc Rivers became caught up in a heated exchange during last year's playoffs over game tape.
According to my calculations, if the Magic wish to acquire the talented point guard out of the University of Kentucky, then they would have to give up a package consisting of Nelson, small forward Quentin Richardson, center Daniel Orton and rookie Justin Harper. The Celtics, in return, would ship Rondo and backup center Greg Stiesma.
This deal, in fact, works well for both teams. The Celtics receive a much needed injection of youth in the forms of Harper and Orton. In addition, they acquire depth with Nelson and Q-Tip.
Orlando finally adds a backup center to spell Howard, while acquiring their second star in Rondo. This deal is a win-win for both sides.
If the Celtics don't take the bait, Orlando could always sweeten the deal by adding draft picks.
In the end, Orlando will probably not make any major moves until their big All-Star extravaganza is complete, but this is definitely a deal GM Otis Smith needs to consider.