5 Rajon Rondo Trades the Boston Celtics Would Have to Consider
Having traded away the remaining members of their Big Three, along with their head coach, the Boston Celtics are in full-blown rebuilding mode.
Now that they've hired Brad Stevens to take over the head coaching role, the Celtics may look to find a trade partner for star point guard Rajon Rondo as their next big move.
While Rondo is undoubtedly one of the best young players in the game, his style of play is much more suited to a situation in which he's surrounded by other great pieces.
A passer as talented as he is would get a lot of attention on the trade market and could bring back a package to aid the rebuilding process, even if Danny Ainge isn't yet on board with that idea.
There's a good case for keeping Rondo, and it would certainly be understandable if Boston built around him, but here are five trades they'd be wise to consider.
Detroit Receives: Rajon Rondo, Gerald Wallace
Boston Receives: Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, 2015 First-Round Pick
According to CBS, the Detroit Pistons were one of the first teams to express interest in acquiring Rajon Rondo, and they certainly have some pieces that would make the Celtics think twice about not letting him go.
The biggest pieces the piece Detroit could offer is one of their two up-and-coming big men, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. As the more developed player, Monroe would likely be the most intriguing to Boston.
With Monroe and Jeff Green, the Celtics would have a frontcourt they can build a contending team around, that would be effective on both ends of the floor.
Beyond Monroe, the Celtics could use the Pistons' $22 million of cap space to dump salary and get rid of the Gerald Wallace contract they acquired in the big trade with the Brooklyn Nets.
Wallace has three years and $30 million left on his deal, and getting rid of that would be a victory in and of itself.
With Rondo gone, the Celtics would need a true point guard to replace him, because Avery Bradley's playoff struggles proved he's not made for that job. Getting the Pistons to throw Brandon Knight into the deal would solve that problem, but that may be difficult to pull off if Detroit wants to keep him for another potential trade.
Atlanta Receives: Rajon Rondo, Gerald Wallace
Boston Receives: Lou Williams, Lucas Nogueira, 2014 First-Round Pick, 2016 First-Round Pick, 2018 First-Round Pick
The Atlanta Hawks were expected to be in the running for Chris Paul, but with him losing no time in re-upping with the Los Angeles Clippers, they may now look to the trade market to find a star point guard.
As far as players are concerned, the Hawks don't have much to offer the Celtics, but they do have cap space and all of their future draft picks intact.
Offering Boston Lou Williams and a set of future picks could do the trick, with Atlanta also taking back Gerald Wallace's remaining three years.
Lucas Nogueira, who was a Celtic for a few seconds on draft day, would also be added to the deal. He's a prospect with impressive physical tools at the center position.
Williams is not an amazing pickup, but he can score and could take the starting point guard role for a season. If nothing else, the downgrade from Rondo to Williams will help the Celtics to get a better pick in next year's draft which is projected to be very deep in talent.
Speaking of that draft, this trade gives the Celtics a third first-rounder in 2014, which could be huge for potentially trading up for one of the top picks. In this scenario, they'd also receive two more first-rounders, although they'll likely only end up being in the 20s.
Philadelphia Receives: Rajon Rondo, Gerald Wallace
Boston Receives: Michael Carter-Williams, Evan Turner, 2015 First-Round Pick, 2017 First-Round Pick
After trading last year's starting point guard on draft day, the Philadelphia 76ers could offer the Celtics a great package to get Rajon Rondo to take over Jrue Holiday's role as the team's floor general.
This is yet another team with cap space that could take on Gerald Wallace's contract, but the Sixers also have some young prospects that could be of interest to the Celtics.
In acquiring Rondo, Philly would lose the need for Michael Carter-Williams and could also part ways with Evan Turner, a player who could flourish in new surroundings.
An extra first-round pick going Boston's way would sweeten the deal, but it's worth noting that the Sixers themselves are trying to hit it big in the 2014 draft.
They could still offer the Celtics a first-rounder in 2015 and 2017, which would give them a third pick in both years—again giving them a chance to either trade up or simply draft an array of prospects.
Toronto Receives: Rajon Rondo
Boston Receives: Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, 2014 First- and Second-Round Picks, 2016 First-Round Pick
Trading within the division for a second time may not sound too enticing for the Celtics, but the Toronto Raptors have enough to make a trade for Rajon Rondo possible.
Unlike the other teams on this list, Toronto doesn't have the cap space to take back Rondo and Gerald Wallace, but they can offer a load of picks and two talented players.
In Kyle Lowry, the Celtics would be getting a short-term starting point guard, one who's still young and who, at times, has shown the talent to be effective in directing an offense. On a two-year deal, the Celtics would have the flexibility to cut Lowry loose if he doesn't work out.
Along with Lowry, Boston would also bring in Jonas Valanciunas, who could turn into something special given the chance to fully adjust to the NBA. He improved over the course of his rookie season, and may well end up surprising people moving forward.
Those two players alone are solid pickups, but for a player like Rondo, multiple picks would be needed, and in this case they'd be getting two first-rounders, along with a second-round pick in 2014.
Minor pieces may have to be added to help the salaries match, but this could be the basis of a good trade for both sides.
Charlotte Receives: Rajon Rondo
Boston Receives: Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 2014 First Round Pick
Now that they have Al Jefferson under contract, the Charlotte Bobcats could look to create a partnership capable of going places in the postseason.
They don't have major cap space, but they do have plenty of young players available, and could send a package to Boston centered around Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Walker is one of the league's best young scorers at the point guard position, and is a player the franchise could legitimately keep as their long-term starter.
Meanwhile, the prospect of having Kidd-Gilchrist and Avery Bradley on the perimeter could be the makings of an elite defense for years to come.
That won't quite be good enough for Rondo, though, so a 2014 first-rounder would need to be added, with the possible addition of role players to help the salaries match.