At least one NBA team is hoping that Rajon Rondo's injury will encourage Danny Ainge to break up the Boston Celtics' veteran core. The Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly interested in trading for Kevin Garnett, per Sporting News.
According to the report, Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe would be the major aspects of the package the Clips are offering in return. If the Clippers can somehow swing this deal, it would make them the favorites in the Western Conference.
The offer could be attractive to the Celtics because the 32-year-old Butler will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2013-2014 season. He'll represent an expiring contract in the event the Celtics want to deal next season.
Bledsoe is just 23 years old, and there is a team-option worth an attractive $2.6 million for next season. The Celtics could keep him as a way to help absorb the absence of Rondo for the rest of this year and the beginning of next season.
They could also let him walk after this year.
Even though the Celtics are 4-0 without Rondo, most don't believe they have a realistic shot at contending for a title without their All-Star point guard. That concept makes Garnett and his average salary of $12,003,333, per Spotrac, expendable.
He's not due to be a free agent until 2015.
At 36, he's still playing at a very high level. He's averaging 14.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and a blocked shot per game. But for a team now forced to look to the future, Garnett doesn't carry a ton of upside.
With the Clippers, he'd likely supplant DeAndre Jordan in the middle, and he'd give the team a veteran toughness and another viable post option on offense.
Love him or hate him, Garnett makes any team he plays on better, and he would be a huge pickup for the Clippers.
The team is already allowing the fourth-fewest points per game at 93.4. Adding Garnett is only going to make them even stingier. Offensively, Garnett's presence will give the team the true post-up option they lack.
Blake Griffin is a bull on the block, but he doesn't have the ability to face up and knock down the 15-footer with consistency like Garnett. The two big men would complement each other nicely.
If the Clippers are looking for someone to make sure Griffin isn't the object of cheap shots, Garnett could be the man for that role as well. It may sound like a meaningless quality, but toughness in the playoffs goes a long way.
There are potential drawbacks, though.
Bledsoe is the team's best backup point guard right now. The Clippers would need both Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups to get healthy to prevent a severe lack of depth at the position.
Overall, it's a gamble worth taking for the Clippers. Danny Ainge may as well go for it, unless he sees a better option to move the future hall-of-famer in the offseason or over the next few weeks.
We'll see if the Celtics bite on this rumored deal.