When I learned early Tuesday that the Celtics were open to trading their super-crafty point guard Rajon Rondo, shock was my initial feeling.
But after you think about it, it's not too surprising.
GM Danny Ainge has been pretty experimental lately. He signed Shaquille and Jermaine O'Neal last summer and brought back Delonte West. But perhaps the biggest shakeup came when he dealt Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstić. Perkins was a large factor in Boston, as he had anchored the Celtics defense for a number of seasons, including their championship campaign in 2008.
If Perkins could be shipped out in the blink of an eye, then you get the feeling that hardly anyone is safe. Ainge isn't ready to see this team's window slammed shut just yet. He's determined to keep shaking things up to try to extend the lifespan of the Celtics' title chances.
Rondo probably has the highest trade value of any Celtic right now, so you could see why the thought of shopping him a little may have come up.
Let me first say that the former Kentucky Wildcat is one of the elite point guards in the league in a time when the position is dripping with talent. I've never bought into the notion that he only produces because he's played with multiple future Hall of Famers for most of his career. He is a certified playmaker with insane court vision, and he would be a good point guard on any team.
And any team would be lucky to have him and would consider acquiring him.
Boston is interested in getting Chris Paul in return for Rondo in a possible deal with New Orleans.
This would be an interesting deal for the Celtics if it were to go down. Paul would give them another player who can very effectively create his own shot—not one of Rondo's premier traits—and also facilitate running the offense. This move could very well beef up their offense, as shot creators such as Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are inching closer to becoming average players.
A down side is that Paul is a touch older than Rondo, and he has also battled knee troubles. It might not be too wise to add him to a team that has had injury issues in the past.
It's dicey but, barring more knee flare-ups, I think adding Paul could produce positive results for the Celtics.
Dwight Howard could also be a possibility. It has been no secret that the reigning three-time Defensive Player of the Year, much like Paul, has been a major figure in trade speculation. Howard seems far from a lock in to re-sign in Orlando, as they are currently in disarray. The Magic may be looking to deal him in order to a avoid a huge mess in the future should he walk away for nothing.
Bringing in Howard would be a much safer move to pull off for the C's. He would fill a gaping hole they have at center. He would also become their franchise player, as well as the defensive anchor that Perkins was while being more than twice the overall player.
Despite all of that, I'm a firm believer in loyalty. Rondo has accomplished so much in his five seasons in Boston.
He's played his role to perfection and has had some great moments. He deserves to stick around for a least a little while longer. It's already bad enough they sent away Perkins so abruptly, and doing the same to another big name player just nine months later would be too much.
There are probably other ways to reignite the roster. Just think before you ship out a guy who often looked like your best player when the others looked like artifacts, Danny Ainge.
What happens from here is one of the many things to look out for once transactions begin to happen next Friday.
And I certainly can't wait.
Do you think the Celtics shopping Rondo is a good idea?
You can Follow Nigel Broadnax on Twitter @BroadnaxWrites.
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