In one of the most dramatic NBA offseasons in recent memory, there hasn’t been a lot of noise out of Boston.
The once-dominant Celtics struggled last year and don’t appear to be serious title threats on paper heading into the 2014-15 campaign. Therefore, the focus has to be on the future in Boston, and many rumors have surrounded incumbent superstar Rajon Rondo.
Yes, Rondo is a dynamic player, but there are questions about whether he will still be in his prime when the team is ready to compete again.
With that in mind, here is a look at some of the latest rumors surrounding the Celtics.
Rajon Rondo and the Houston Rockets?
In the wake of more reports that Houston again targeted Rajon Rondo, multiple sources confirmed that there has been no such communication between the Rockets and Celtics.
The first clue that there may be no substance here might be that Houston had nothing it possibly would be willing to give up for Rondo that would appeal to the Celts.
According to league sources, Danny Ainge has been pretty firm in the past on his need to get a major player in return for his All-Star point guard.
It really doesn’t look like Houston is going to land Rondo for now, which would be the cherry on top of an offseason that included misses on Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony, trades that shipped out Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin and the departure of Chandler Parsons.
Of course, the argument can be made that Boston should explore a potential trade with Rondo because it just drafted Marcus Smart as a possible point guard of the future. Once Rondo’s contract runs out, he may look elsewhere if the Celtics aren’t competing again. Why not get something of value for the superstar now?
Whether that potential trade involves the Rockets remains to be seen.
Evan Turner Heading to Boston?
Jeff Goodman of ESPN noted that the Boston Celtics could get in on the Evan Turner sweepstakes:
Turner received plenty of criticism during his brief stint in Indiana with the Pacers and lost serious playing time in the postseason. However, he proved he can be a solid piece on a rebuilding team in Philadelphia, where he averaged 17.4 points a night in 54 games last year for the 76ers.
Boston could use some more shooting around its young frontcourt and Rondo, and Turner is not known as a long-range gunner. Rather, he is more comfortable creating his own shot off the bounce.
Still, it’s not the worst idea in the world for a rebuilding squad to take a flyer on a former top-three pick.
Josh Smith’s Connection to Rondo
Marc Stein of ESPN.com passed along the latest rumor regarding Josh Smith:
Sources told ESPN.com the Kings have continued to express interest in Smith and the parties are on the hunt for a third team that could help facilitate the deal.
Interestingly enough, these trade talks between Sacramento and Detroit directly tie into Boston’s future, as Stein mentions: “Another potential bonus is Smith's close relationship with Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, whom Sacramento has been targeting in trade talks for some time.”
Smith and Rondo were teammates in prep school, and the Pistons forward discussed his relationship with the point guard (via Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe): “He’s my best friend, especially in the NBA. We definitely connect. We take family vacations together.”
If Sacramento could somehow land Smith and Rondo down the road, all of a sudden it looks like a legitimate force in the loaded Western Conference. DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, Nik Stauskas, Smith and Rondo is an impressive potential fivesome.
From Boston’s perspective, having another suitor in the Rondo race would only drive up the asking price and push the rebuilding efforts further along.
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