Rajon Rondo is the last vestige of the Boston Celtics' 2008 championship team remaining on the roster. That may not last much longer, as rumors are swirling that the mercurial point guard could be on his way out of Beantown in the near future.
Even before president of basketball operations Danny Ainge pulled the trigger on the blockbuster trade that will send veteran forwards Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for what amounts to expiring contracts and draft picks, there was talk that Rondo—the most valuable asset the Celtics possess—could be dealt to facilitate a rebuilding effort.
Despite the fact that he is still rehabilitating from a devastating torn ACL he suffered back in January, a number of competing franchises around the league are apparently interested in the 27-year-old’s services.
Rondo, who is owed just $25 million in the last two years of his reasonable contract, would make Houston a legitimate contender. A core that includes Rondo, D12 and James Harden could compete with any team in the Western Conference and give the defending champion Miami Heat a run for their money.
While Rockets GM Daryl Morey has stockpiled assets and movable pieces, it would be a major coup if he could augment his growing list of offseason additions with Rondo.
The Detroit Pistons will also likely try to put together a package should Ainge make Rondo available.
According to CBS Sports’ Ken Berger, the Motor City-based franchise has already been in contact with the C’s front office. That was before they added Josh Smith, the superstar swingman most recently with the Atlanta Hawks, on a four-year, $56 million deal.
However, if there were a chance the organization could nab Rondo, it would be hard to see president Joe Dumars passing up on it.
Berger noted that the Dallas Mavericks expressed interest in the former Kentucky star but did not elaborate further.
Considering Mavs owner Mark Cuban’s desire to remain relevant and out of the lottery, it would not be a surprise to see him offer up a significant amount in order to acquire the superstar point guard’s services.
It is worth noting that the team recently inked Devin Harris and Jose Calderon—two veteran point guards—to multi-year deals and landed Shane Larkin, a promising prospect at the position, with the No. 18 overall selection in June’s NBA draft.
Those transactions could make the Mavs' interest in Rondo less serious, but anything could happen if one of the game’s best point guards suddenly becomes available this summer.