NBA Trade Rumors: Will Rajon Rondo or Chris Paul Get Dealt First?

Kelly Scaletta@@KellyScalettaFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2011

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 08: Rajon Rondo drives during the South Florida All Star Classic at Florida International University on October 8, 2011 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The NBA rumor mill is buzzing. Hour-old rumors may as well be year-old rumors. Earlier this morning there was discussion that Rajon Rondo was on the trading block in exchange for the New Orleans Hornet superstar, Chris Paul.  

Now those are old as Chris Broussard is reporting that Chris Paul wouldn't be interested in going to Boston because they don't have the pieces past this year to be a contender. Celtics management is likely fast at work trying to assimilate the pieces to persuade Paul to come to Beantown. 

Enter the Indiana Pacers, who have a motivation to get Rajon Rondo. According to reports they are interesting Rondo, but they lack the pieces to entice Boston to send them their All-Star point guard. 

So the Pacers are shopping around to try and acquire the pieces that they can send Boston so they can then have the pieces in place to attract Paul. 

The only thing is, that in doing that do they lose the pieces to motivate New Orleans to send them Rondo?

The Hornets also appear to be motivated to get a deal done fast as they don't want to go through the same sort of circus the Nuggets went through last year. 

So the Celtics might be playing a dangerous game. One of four things could happen.

  1. They could manage to land the trade with Indiana, who has managed to gather the pieces from elsewhere and then turn around and make a trade to New Orleans. 
  2. They could manage some sort of massive four- or five-team trade that lands them Paul and the pieces they need to extend him. 
  3. They could make the trade with Indiana and before they can make a trade with New Orleans someone else beats them to the punch. 
  4. They complete the trade and either New Orleans doesn't want the trade or Paul still doesn't want the extension. 

Now granted, you might think the Celtics wouldn't be so stupid as to to make a trade without ensuring all their ducks are in a row in the first place. However, they pretty much have already destroyed the future of Rondo in Boston just by allowing all of this to go public. 

Remember, this is the guy who supposedly had his entire psychological make-up destroyed when President Obama made a joke about his shooting. Tossing him under the bus like this isn't likely to ensure he's playing with extreme cockiness next year. 

It may be the case that the Celtics are going to move Rondo regardless of whether they can get Paul back for him or not. Reportedly they already made a failed attempt to get Russel Westbrook for him. 

Either way it looks like they will both be moved, but my guess is Rondo gets moved first because Boston is motivated to get a deal done before New Orleans so that they can make a deal with New Orleans. It looks like the Celtics may be a very different-looking team next year.