NBA Trade Rumors: Why Dwight Howard for Rajon Rondo Makes Sense for Both Sides

Sam Quinn@@Samquinn23Contributor IIIFebruary 16, 2013

BOSTON - MAY 28:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic congratulates Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics after the Celtics won 96-84 in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on May 28, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

CBS Sports' Ken Berger is reporting that the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have discussed a trade involving Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo. As far as trade rumors go, this one is makes about as much sense as you could ask for.

Two things have become painfully obvious for the Lakers over the past few months: they are not winning the NBA championship, and Dwight Howard does not want to be on their team. 

We can pretty safely assume that Dwight Howard will leave the Lakers as a free agent this summer. Therefore, their options are pretty simple: they can lose him for nothing, they can trade him for Brooklyn's 60-cents-on-the-dollar package of Brook Lopez and cap fodder or they can get a real asset in Rajon Rondo.

If you're the Lakers, which of those options sounds most appealing? Assuming they could get some value for Steve Nash (which at the very least could replenish their empty stock of draft picks), the 2014 Lakers might actually be in a position to compete with Rondo, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. 

More importantly, as currently constructed, the Lakers cannot present a compelling reason to LeBron James (who becomes a free agent after the 2014 season) as to why he should leave Miami for them. Why leave Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to play with a 36-year-old Kobe Bryant?

But a 28-year-old Rajon Rondo? Now we're talking.

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And if you're the Celtics, this really kills two birds with one stone. Rondo has been a thorn in management's side for years with his prickly attitude and inconsistent play. Trading him essentially allows them to hit the reset button on who to build their team around.

But more importantly, the Celtics, as currently constructed, stand absolutely no chance in a seven-game series against Miami. But if you stuck Dwight Howard on the team? At the risk of sounding redundant, now we're talking. 

Miami's biggest weakness is size. Their small-ball lineup cannot rebound against a team with even one elite big man, but two? That would likely force the Heat to give up their biggest advantage: versatility.

That would mean taking Ray Allen off of the floor and putting Joel Anthony on it. Even in that case, the Dwight Howard-Kevin Garnett tandem would be able to overwhelm Miami's weak frontcourt. 

And if you're Dwight Howard? The Celtics make perfect sense. 

If he believes he's healthy, he can sign a short-term deal to stay with Boston and compete for as long as KG and Paul Pierce are playing, and then ditch them for the Nets when they're done. 

Ah, the Nets. That's always what it comes down to isn't it? The Nets may not have time to create enough cap space for Howard now, but what if they had some time? 

Let's say Howard extended with the Celtics for three years. In that time, every significant contract on the team besides Deron Williams would expire and Howard would only be 30, easily young enough to team up with Williams and chase a few rings. 

If he only wanted to stay in Boston for two? That opens up the Clippers as a possibility, besides Blake Griffin and (presumably) Chris Paul, their decks will be clear in the summer of 2014. 

And if he stayed in Boston for only a single season beyond this one, he could pair up with LeBron as free agents in the summer of 2014. 

Don't those options sound more appealing than playing out the season, and then taking a pay cut to go to Houston or Dallas? I'd say so.

Of course, if he were so inclined, Howard could re-sign for the maximum with Boston. There are worse things than being the franchise player for the Celtics. 

This trade makes too much sense to actually happen, which is a complete shame considering it would benefit all parties involved.