NBA Trade Rumors: 5 Teams That Make Sense for Rajon Rondo
Now that we've finally reached deadline day in the NBA, Celtics fans will at last get an answer on the future fate of their team's floor general, Rajon Rondo.
Although most recent reports suggest Rondo is no longer on the trading block, that certainly doesn't mean a deal could still happen.
Here's a look at a handful of teams that would be a good fit for the C's All-Star point guard.
1. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers, en route to their second straight playoff berth after years of futility, are young and still improving. But the one spot in which they've experienced mostly inconsistent production is at the point.
Indiana uses a platoon at the 1, starting Darren Collison and bringing former Spur George Hill off the bench. Collison, a marquee acquisition for the Pacers prior to last season, has struggled lately, averaging just nine points and four assists in his last 10 games—both numbers well off his career marks.
Hill has seen an uptick in his minutes of late, perhaps due to Collison's recent downturn. He's just about at his career numbers of 10 points and 2.3 assists for the season, and put up 17 and four dimes to go with seven rebounds in a recent win over the Sixers.
Still, neither of these two is a top-level point guard like Rondo. Given the strength the Pacers have on the wings (Danny Granger, Paul George) and up front (Roy Hibbert), a get like Rondo could give them a huge bump in this year's postseason.
2. Atlanta Hawks
As the Hawks continue to wither away in a haze of bad contracts and underperformance, one area in which they have always been weak remains a glaring black hole: point guard.
Ever since they passed on Chris Paul to take Marvin Williams No. 2 overall in 2005, the position has been somewhat of a revolving door for Atlanta. Mike Bibby served them well for a couple of years, but the transition to Paul's replacement at Wake Forest, Jeff Teague, hasn't gone particularly smoothly and his backup, Kirk Hinrich, is having a terrible season.
The Hawks will make the playoffs behind Joe Johnson, but they can't expect to go very far with Teague running the show, even if Al Horford makes it back for the postseason. A deal that nets them Rondo, perhaps with disgruntled forward Josh Smith coming to Boston, could be what they need.
3. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have been searching for help at the point all season, as the combo of Derek Fisher and Steve Blake hardly seems enough for a team ostensibly contending for a title.
The last couple of months have featured reports of the Celtics and Lakers engaged in talks that would send Rondo out west in exchange for Pau Gasol, who the Lakers have seemingly been trying to deal feverishly all season.
On the surface, this potential deal looks like it could work for both sides, with the Celtics getting a big rebounding presence in Gasol and the Lakers getting just the point guard they need.
4. Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers are a mess. They seem to have quit on the season and last night's 42-point loss to the reeling Knicks did nothing to change that perception.
The root of the Blazers issues seems to be at the point, where Raymond Felton and Jamal Crawford have been disasters trying to run coach Nate McMillan's system and may have even been behind an attempted mutiny against him.
There's not a lot on Portland's roster that would interest the Celtics beyond star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who the Blazers won't move. But getting someone like Rondo to run the point would help them immensely.
5. Utah Jazz
Ever since the Jazz shipped Deron Williams to the Nets last season, they've been in flux at the point. Devin Harris, who they got back from New Jersey in exchange for Williams, has fallen off the map in Utah, with all of his numbers significantly down this year.
The Jazz are a fringe playoff team at best but they are more than solid up front with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap and have a young star in the making in Derrick Favors.
One would assume the Celtics would want someone like Favors in return for Rondo, but Utah, lost in the Western Conference shuffle, would be wise to look into something like this.