NBA Trade Rumors: Franchise Cornerstones That Shouldn't Be Moved
The faces of some smaller NBA markets and one rebuilding big market are supposedly being tossed around to other franchises. Even if some reports turn out to be true, don't expect any landscape-changing moves from Boston, Milwaukee or Portland.
Each of these three teams has had its star player ask for or involved in trade possibilities according to several media outlets. While these rumors could have truth to them, it makes no sense for any of the three franchises to deal their cornerstones.
Here is why LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Jennings and Rajon Rondo aren't going anywhere this offseason.
Chris Haynes of Comcast Sportsnet NorthWest is reporting that Aldridge arranged a meeting with Portland general manager Neil Olshey in a Las Vegas hotel lobby on July 14.
Haynes' source told him that the two-time NBA All-Star wanted to meet with Olshey to discuss trade scenarios for him to leave the Trail Blazers.
While Aldridge might have made it clear he would like to move out of Portland, he shouldn't get his wish at least this offseason.
The Trail Blazers ended the 2012-13 regular season on a 13-game losing streak. If the team hadn't done so, it would have been in contention for the No. 8 playoff seed in the Western Conference.
Teammates Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard averaged 14.3 and 19 points per game just last season. Paired with Aldridge's 21.1 points per game average last year, the Trail Blazers usually had three starters posting double-digit points on any given night.
Unless the Trail Blazers can convince a team like Minnesota or Atlanta to give up its star player for Aldridge, there's no reason to do the deal. Even if Kevin Love or Al Horford were attainable in exchange for Aldridge, neither team involved would benefit from the swap.
One NBA star who has not been quiet about wanting to change scenery is Jennings. The Bucks star wants out of Milwaukee for a bigger market and contract.
The Bucks have been in search of a deal that would give Jennings his wish in exchange for a point guard, but to no avail so far. Even with both sides working toward an exit for the former No. 10 overall draft pick, another year together would be the better option.
Which player is most likely to stay with their current team?
The Bucks were a playoff team just last year and could easily be one again this season. With Boston rebuilding, the other Eastern Conference teams has one less powerhouse to worry about.
Jennings can get out of Milwaukee after next season when his $4.5 million, one-year deal expires if he still wants to.
Playing one year with the Bucks would give the team another postseason chance and Jennings another opportunity to showcase his talents for his next team.
If Jennings is able to help his team get to the playoffs again in the 2013-14 season, he'll have every team who needs a point guard pursuing him in free agency.
The down side to this scenario for Milwaukee is that the team would get no compensation for Jennings' departure.
While that may be true, two straight trips to the playoffs would make the Bucks sound like a team other free agents might want to sign with the following year.
Rondo is no stranger to being rumored in potential trades, and the latest to surface linked him to the Detroit Pistons.
Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars denied offering the Boston Celtics Brandon Knight in exchange for Rondo. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (via subscription) recently reported that the Pistons are "quite interested" in Rondo but don't have a package that interests Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.
When asked by Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press about how the point guard would fit in Detroit, Dumars simply said: "At this point, I really can’t start talking about somebody else’s player. That rumor isn't even true."
If the rumor is true and even if Dumars is the one who initiated the conversation, Ainge should not be looking to trade Rondo.
Boston has already shipped off Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce this offseason. While the two former Celtics were shipped off due to their increasing age, Rondo should be the young superstar point guard the team rebuilds around, not without.
The Kentucky product has averaged at least 10 points and 11 assists per game each of the past three seasons. The last time Rondo averaged less than 10 points per game in a single season was his rookie year in 2006-07.
Don't forget that it was new Celtics coach Brad Stevens who told Baxter Holmes (via subscription) of the Globe, that there is no bigger Rondo fan than Stevens himself.
The Celtics have a long way to go to get back into the NBA championship hunt, but it would be an even longer road without Rondo at point guard.
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