The latest enticing package for the hobbled four-time All-Star comes by way of the Sacramento Kings, a franchise that suddenly knows nothing other than swinging for the fences.
Onchie Ebriega of The Latino Post has the details of Sacramento's latest attempted bold transaction:
In a rumored blockbuster deal, the Sacramento Kings are reportedly trying to put together an enticing trade package for Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, a source close to situation reported on Sunday.
According to a league source, the Kings are proposing a package that would send point guard Isaiah Thomas, shooting guard Ben McLemore, veteran swingman Marcus Thornton, power forward Jason Thompson and two future first-round picks to the Celtics in exchange for Rondo.
So far, Ainge has given no indication that he'd be willing to cut ties with the two-time assists champ. In fact, some sources are saying this deal isn't just dead, it was never born to begin with:
"Rondo is coming off an injury and I think people know how much we love Rondo, so I don’t expect anybody to inquire, quite honestly," Ainge said. "People know that Rondo is a big part of our future and that we’re not going to trade him.
"Guys that are starting All-Star players just don’t come around. The special players, the transcendent players in our league, are very difficult to find and acquire. We believe Rondo is one of those guys. He’s a very special player. We value him a great deal."
The Kings aren't dangling one of those transcendent talents here. But they are offering Ainge a chance to stock Boston's cupboard for the future.
Thomas is just 24 years old and in the midst of a breakout season (18.8 points and 5.4 assists). Ben McLemore was the No. 7 overall pick of the 2013 draft and a player who some felt had the highest upside of any player in the class. Thornton and Thompson are short on upside, but both are proven NBA veterans who could offer instant help should the Celtics try to make a push in a wide-open Eastern Conference.
Rondo is still sidelined by the torn ACL that ended his 2012-13 campaign in late January. But the enigmatic floor general is the type of risk-reward talent that this new Kings regime has tried to build around.
DeMarcus Cousins was handed a max contract by Sacramento this summer. The Kings then rolled the dice on former No. 2 pick Derrick Williams and volume scorer Rudy Gay.
Rondo might be the tactical leader capable of putting all of these pieces together. He's a pass-first point guard to the extreme, someone who'd be more than willing to keep all of the players around him involved.
The only problem is that he might not be available.
If he is, though, this might be the kind of future help that Ainge will want in return. Between McLemore, Thomas and that pair of first-round picks, this might not be easy for Ainge to quickly dismiss.