The Celtics are once again trying to make a big splash in the draft without having a top pick. Two years ago Danny Ainge officially brought gang green back into the NBA consciousness. Prior to that NBA free-agents would not even have Boston on their radar as a destination. Teams took delight in beating the hapless Celtics.
Ainge's wheeling and dealing has left the Celtics without a first round pick. Five years with him and Doc Rivers at the helm brought a revival of the Celtic mystic. Opponents knew they had to bring their "A" game in order to beat them.
Al Jefferson's growth brought the new "big three" together and now Rajon Rondo seems to be heading down Interstate 93. The latest rumour has Boston offering Rajon Rondo and Brian Scalabrine to Memphis for Rudy Gay and Mike Conley. Scalabrine is essentially salary-cap fodder.
If this trade happens, then the Timberwolves and Grizzlies will be making a two for one deal. The 'wolves' have four first round picks and would love to get their hands on Thabeet. This would allow Jefferson to move to his natural power forward position.
Might Kevin Love end up back in the Grizzlies fold; remember he is the one that leaked McHale had been fired. Privately, management may not be happy with his mis-queue.
The Grizzlies could get the fifth or sixth pick and Kevin Love in exchange for the second overall pick.
The Grizzlies could have a lineup of Rajon Rondo, O.J. Mayo, first round pick, Kevin Love and Marc Gasol. They now have a point guard with championship playoff experience who is only a fourth year player.
The Celtics would start Mike Conley, Rudy Gay, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Kendrick Perkins. Ray Allen would come off the bench because I cannot see Rudy not starting. That does not scream championship to me.
Why are the Celtics willing to give up a defensive and assist whiz at point guard?
Rondo only increased his scoring by one point during the regular season. He averaged 10 ppg in 2007 and 11 ppg in 2008. Where as Conley averaged nine ppg in his rookie season and his sophomore year he had 10 ppg. Rondo averaged one more assist then Conley. Conley has a better jump shot and makes his free-throws.
For all his prowess in the playoffs, Rondo's penchant for gambling and inability to make free-throws cost Boston at least five losses in the 2008 season. Rondo turns the ball over three times a game, Conley only 1.7.
Rudy Gay does not make sense because he plays the same position as Pierce. Gay may be part of a contingency trade.
Ownership has already gone on record as saying they will go over the luxury tax to stay in the championship hunt. One thing we do know is that "Trader Dan" will not go quietly into the night.