NBA Trade Rumors: 4 Reasons Lakers Must Make Deal for Rajon Rondo
Lately, Rondo has been a common name involved in trade rumors. Before the season, it was rumored Celtics general manager Danny Ainge was interested in trading Rondo for Chris Paul. Now there's a rumor the Lakers could be interested in trading for Rondo's services.
Recently, Mike Trudell of Lakers.com asked Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak what he would like to address before the trade deadline. His response was surprising.
"Well, if there were a way for us to get a 25-year-old, All-Star, ball-handling guard we'd love to do it … but that's not likely in February. So you look at other alternatives, and see if it's better than what you have. That's all."
Was that a hint? As Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld.com said, Kupchack is "not the kind of GM who will flat out lie to media, but rather chose not to answer the question directly or indirectly."
The Celtics could be interested because other than Kevin Garnett, they don't have much depth in the front court. Acquiring Pau Gasol makes a lot of sense for them. But trading the guy who was presumed to be the Celtics' future? That's a tough decision the Celtics need to make.
Going forward, how far can Rondo take you as the best player on the team? He's a great distributor but not much of a scorer, especially late in the game.
This trade would be great for the Lakers, which is why they should actively pursue it to make it work.
Here are four reasons the Lakers must do all they can to make trade for Rondo.
The Lakers Desperately Need a Point Guard
Now that Jeremy Lin has emerged as a star for the New York Knicks, the debate on which team has the worst point guards is over. It's the Lakers. Derek Fisher is too old and Steve Blake is just a backup.
The Lakers point guards have consistently failed to get the big guys (Bynum and Gasol) the ball in the post. Bryant has been dominating the ball at a crazy rate. According to Hoopdata.com, Bryant's possession rate is a ridiculously high 37.8. That's the highest of his career.
When Phil Jackson was the coach, the Lakers didn't need a great point guard because of the triangle offense. Mike Brown's offense involves more high-post and pick-and-roll activity. This is hard to run without a good point guard.
Rondo would solve all these issues. But in order to get Rondo, the Lakers would need to give up one of their best players.
Pau Gasol Is Expendable
The Lakers would probably have to give up Gasol in order to get Rondo.
Gasol's not the player he was two years ago. He's still one of the top-25 players in the league, but he's definitely on the downside of his career. The Lakers should consider trading him while they can still get good value.
Gasol has been great for the Lakers. He was the piece that pushed them over the top and made them champions. In Brown's new offense, he just doesn't have the distributors around him to reach his max potential.
Since Bynum isn't available (unless the trade includes Dwight Howard), Gasol would have to be the guy that is sent away to solve the Lakers' point guard issues.
Rondo Is Available for the Right Price
If Rondo weren't available for the right trade, then why do we keep hearing his name in trade rumors?
The Celtics are preparing to enter the rebuilding stage. Is Rondo the type of player that you can build a franchise around?
Rondo is a great point guard, there's no doubt about that. But he's not necessarily a great franchise player. He's too much of a liability at the end of games.
Rondo is the Celtics' biggest trade asset. They could probably trade Rondo for something more than a deal based around Gasol, but that shouldn't stop the Lakers from trying.
They could easily include another team to make the trade work. The Rockets, who still covet Gasol, could be interested in doing a three-teamer. The Rockets could give the Celtics some solid young players.
Rondo and Bryant Would Be Lethal
Pairing Rondo and Bryant in the backcourt together would be scary. A big three of Rondo, Bryant and Bynum is definitely good enough to come out of the Western Conference.
If the Lakers can get Rondo and find a way to make the Bynum-Howard trade work, all of a sudden there's a new dominate big three in the NBA.
Even without Howard, Rondo by himself makes the Lakers much better. He would make life easier for Bryant, allowing him to set up more. Bynum will also get easier looks at the basket.
The Lakers may not be able to convince the Celtics to trade them their best asset, but they should at least try. He's by far the best point guard that could be available for the right price.