Many of the top names on the free-agent market or on the trade block have already found their homes for the 2014-15 season, but there are still rumors swirling around the NBA about possible deals that could come to fruition in the coming months.
With Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo becoming an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe struggling to agree on a long-term contract, both players have become trade options for their respective teams.
Here are the latest rumors surrounding the league.
Rajon Rondo Not an Option for Sacramento?
The Boston Celtics were perennial championship contenders just a few years ago, but the franchise is now in full rebuild mode. With starting point guard Rajon Rondo heading toward free agency this offseason, the possibility of a trade increases every day.
If Boston has no plans to extend Rondo, trading him away is the team’s only option.
According to the official Twitter of Basketball Insiders, though, the Celtics are not going to settle for a mediocre deal and have likely turned down an offer from the Sacramento Kings:
Sources close to the process in both Boston and Sacramento are adamantly denying that a Rajon Rondo deal is being discussed.— Basketball Insiders (@BBallInsiders) August 18, 2014
There is no questioning Rondo’s talent. The point guard is the ultimate all-around player at his position, racking up career averages of 11.1 points, 8.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. It is clear from his numbers that Rondo isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty in order to improve the team around him, and any team in contention should be kicking the tires on a potential deal.
While Sacramento may not be an ideal fit for a deal at this time, there will be several teams desperate for depth and talent at point guard. One holdup could be Rondo’s injury history. The eight-year veteran missed large chunks of time in each of the last four seasons, possibly raising concerns with teams looking to contend for a championship.
Rondo’s skills are unique and tough to find in the NBA, but Boston must be diligent when making a deal. Regardless of when it happens, NBA fans should expect the Celtics to move the 28-year-old when the right trade is offered.
Phoenix Ready to Trade Eric Bledsoe?
The Phoenix Suns and restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe have failed to come to a long-term contract extension thus far. With both sides reportedly far apart, the possibility that the franchise could deal the 24-year-old is climbing.
I’ll tell you this, and I think this is the first time it’s reported. I do believe in my NBA sources. You can take this to the bank, so to speak, the Suns are now discussing trade possibilities for Eric Bledsoe. That’s the new chapter to this and I wouldn’t back off of that information. I think it’s 100% correct. I think it’s safe to say ‘open for business.’ The decision makers, [managing partner Robert] Sarver and [PBO Lon] Babby and hopefully Ryan McDonough, they are open to that possibility. It’s got to be right. It’s got to be the right return in what they are looking for. It’s to the point that if they can accommodate Bledsoe and get something they want in return, trade possibilities are very, very real and they have been discussed.
Bledsoe has the ability to walk via unrestricted free agency in 2015. The Suns have done a great job rebuilding the franchise through the draft, and if the organization doesn’t feel Bledsoe is part of the big picture moving forward, Phoenix will likely trade him to the highest bidder.
The Suns should be looking to keep Bledsoe, though. After averaging 17.7 points, 5.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game last season, he also proved to be an on-court leader for the franchise. He may only be 24 years old, but he has already been in the league for four years and still has plenty of room to grow.
The team that eventually makes the deal will get a potential star of the future, but basketball fans in Phoenix should be hopeful the two sides can work out a deal. The Suns are better with Bledsoe controlling the pace of the offense.
Stats via NBA.com.