You know what they say about the dawn of a new day—it's met with another version of the same old New York Knicks pipe dream.
"Futile" is definitely the right word. And so is "exhausting." And "funny." And at this point, "sad."
The Knicks have been lusting after Rondo since July, when the New York Post's Marc Berman intimated Carmelo Anthony wanted them to engage Boston in trade talks. Since then, the disappointing Knicks have been consistently linked to Rondo-based trade proposals that make little sense for the Celtics.
Before Stein's latest report, his colleague, Brian Windhorst, brought word in December that the Knicks were banking on Rondo forcing his way out of Boston. Earlier this month, USA Today's Sam Amick was also told New York was "hoping against hope" to acquire Rondo by the Feb. 20 trade deadline.
Jeff Teague and Kyle Lowry, and anyone else the Knicks plan to pursue, have always been secondary to Rondo, who is considered available for the right deal, which New York cannot offer because 1) it doesn't possess the necessary combination of draft picks and young talent and 2) the right deal doesn't exist.
Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears revealed the Sacramento Kings offered Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore and a pick for Rondo, a proposal the Celtics were forced to decline because the point guard wasn't interested in playing for Sacramento.
The Knicks cannot field an offer that rivals what the Kings are prepared to give up. All they have going for them is a willingness to take back bad contracts—such as Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green and to a lesser extent, Brandon Bass—in return, and the tenacity to acquire Rondo without a guarantee he will re-sign in 2015.
That's it. And it's not much, when you consider Bulls.com's Sam Smith reported Celtics general manager Danny Ainge was looking for two unprotected first-round draft picks in any Rondo trade, dispelling any notion the team is desperate to move on.
"The public probably views us more as sellers than as buyers," Ainge told The Boston Globe's Baxter Holmes.
Barren of enticing assets, the Knicks likely won't have enough to acquire Rondo under any circumstance—not even if the Celtics were prepared to trade him at a discount.