Houston Rockets Reportedly Interested in Rajon Rondo Trade with Boston Celtics

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2014

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 24:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics looks on during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the TD Garden on January 24, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

It seems the New York Knicks have some competition in their ongoing and delusional quest to pry Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics.

Sources told ESPN's Marc Stein that the Houston Rockets have entered the conversation:

 

UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 4:40 p.m. ET by Dan Favale

Sam Amick of USA Today has something to add regarding Houston's interest in Rondo:

More conflicting reports. What a surprise. 

Keep an eye on Rondo, though. And the Rockets. And the Celtics. Just keep your eyes peeled in general, alright?

---End of update--- 

 

Unlike the Knicks, and many other teams, the Rockets have assets Celtics general manager Danny Ainge might actually want to look at. The problem is, one of those assets is Chandler Parsons:

Boston has remained firm in its refusal to sell low on Rondo, so it makes sense the team would seek Parsons—who is averaging 17 points on 50.2-percent shooting this season—as compensation. It also makes sense that the Rockets are refusing to deal him, since he's one of their most deadly (and only) shooters.

Making Parsons untouchable impedes Houston's ability to assemble an enticing trade package, but doesn't kill it entirely.

The Rockets do have some interesting, albeit expensive, contracts on their hands in Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik. Stein named the Celtics as one of Asik's suitors in December, so he's a good starting point.

Houston can also offer a 2015 first-round draft pick. Ainge has made collecting first-rounders a priority since initiating Boston's rebuild last summer. Any proposal that includes an unprotected draft pick in the next two years is something he's likely to consider.

Boston has also lost some of its leverage in Rondo negotiations.

According to Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears, a potential deal with the Sacramento Kings that would have landed Ben McLemore, Isaiah Thomas and a pick with the Celtics had to be nixed because Rondo isn't interested in re-signing with Sacramento.

Chris Broussard of ESPN heard that similar circumstances apply to the Toronto Raptors:

As an unrestricted free agent in 2015, Rondo has some say in where he ends up via trade. If he seems inclined to re-sign in Houston, the Rockets have the upper hand in negotiations.

This is all assuming Ainge would actually move Rondo. His intentions are still unclear at this point.

"Again, I’ve gotten the impression, from everything that I know and from everything that I read, that what you read is a lot more than what’s actually happening," Celtics coach Brad Stevens told The Boston Globe's Baxter Holmes.

Soon enough, this rumor will reveal itself as fact or another fantasy in a strand of many. Until then, it's safe to assume that this isn't the last Rondo-related chatter we'll be subjected to ahead of the Feb. 20 deadline.