According to the New York Daily News' Frank Isola, the Knicks have dangled Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton and Amar'e Stoudemire as part of a "complicated" deal that would land them Boston's Rajon Rondo:
The Knicks’ primary target is Rondo, Boston’s All-Star point guard who is recovering from knee surgery. The Knicks have been trying to trade Shumpert, Raymond Felton and Stoudemire in a complicated deal for Rondo but the Celtics haven’t shown much interest.
Unless the Celtics are blown away with an offer, it’s hard to imagine GM Danny Ainge trading his best player, Rondo, to the rival Knicks.
Blown away is something the Celtics are not. ESPN's Chris Broussard confirmed the Knicks were interested in Rondo, but reiterated that Boston wasn't biting:
Knicks looking to upgrade at PG, have eye on Rondo. But sources say no interest on Celtics' part— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) November 18, 2013
He also says the Celtics still intend to rebuild around their floor general:
Sources: Right now, Celtics have every intention of keeping Rondo & seeing if they can build around him.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) November 18, 2013
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has denied speaking with teams about Rondo as well.
"I haven’t talked to any teams about Rajon Rondo," he told the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett.
Fictional dialogue aside, the idea of Boston agreeing to a trade of similar structure is comical. Stoudemire is owed more than $45 million through 2014-15, and it will be difficult to move him in any deal, let alone one for an All-Star point guard. Felton has also struggled to remain efficient on offense and engaged on the defensive end this season, making him a less-than-ideal replacement for Rondo, even in the interim.
Shumpert, as a two-way talent with star potential, is likely the only piece of interest to Boston. Avery Bradley isn't setting the world on fire, and despite Isola discovering Shumpert had covert knee surgery over the summer, he's an athletic wing who would fit nicely into the Celtics' rebuilding plans.
Knicks fans longing for Stoudemire's departure needn't lose all hope, though. Broussard says the Celtics would be willing take him in a separate deal that rids their ledgers of Gerald Wallace or Courtney Lee:
While C's not moving Rondo, they would take back Amare in deal n which they could unload longer deals of Gerald Wallace &/or Courtney Lee— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) November 18, 2013
While Stoudemire's trade value is virtually nonexistent, it's here we have to see the perils of the Knicks continuing to be the Knicks.
Moving Stoudemire sounds nice in theory, but Lee is owed $16.4 million and Wallace $30.3 million through 2015-16. If there's a silver lining to STAT's bloated contract, it's that it's up after next season, just in time for the Knicks to chase Kevin Love.
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski previously reported the Knicks intend to sell Carmelo Anthony, who will hit free agency this summer, on their ability to sign Love and others after Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani and Tyson Chandler come off the books in 2015.
Adding any contracts that extend beyond then, like Crash's, would severely handicap New York's future plans. Of course, the Knicks would do so in a heartbeat if it meant landing Rondo, but can we take a minute to acknowledge the point man is still injured?
Were we talking about a healthy Rondo, it would be a different story. You mortgage future financial flexibility for a star distributor in a point guard's league, no questions asked. But the Knicks would be doing so without knowing whether Rondo would ever be the same, a legitimate concern they should have if the Celtics actually entertained this underwhelming offer.
Where will Rajon Rondo finish the 2013-14 season?
More likely than not, none of this will matter. A rebuilding team like the Celtics should be interested in first-round draft picks above all else, and the Knicks don't have an available one to offer until 2018.
Rondo, provided Ainge and the Celtics aren't feeling charitable, won't be headed to New York. As for the Knicks, failed Rondo exploits won't prevent them from shopping around.
There are 29 other teams in the NBA just itching to take advantage of a franchise prematurely hitting the panic button.