Just earlier today, we passed along that ESPNBoston.com’s Chad Forsberg suggested it was unlikely Rajon Rondo would be moved, but Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News hears from “more than a few” executives around the league that the C’s will try to deal Rondo, either at the trade deadline or before the draft this June. According to Lawrence, the proposed move would probably be appealing to the recently returned Rondo since he likely won’t be eager to accept a role on a rebuilding team. He’s signed through 2014/15, and will earn about $13MM next season.
There have been a steady flux of Rondo trade rumors since the Celtics and Nets hooked up last summer on the blockbuster deal that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn. Boston GM Danny Ainge has repeatedly dismissed these rumors and continues to stress that he pegs Rondo as the cornerstone to build the franchise around. Rondo has recently been part of rumors involving a potential deal with the Knicks, but Lawrence hears that Phoenix and Houston are two of the most likely landing spots for him. Dallas seems to have an affinity for Rondo as well, but it doesn’t look like they’ll have the proper assets to put together a desirable package for Boston.
Lawrence’s piece implies it’s essentially a foregone conclusion that Rondo will be dealt, which I find a little surprising since there are so many questions about how he will bounce back and perform on the court after recovering from his ACL tear. Rondo’s talent is enticing though, and it’s tough to imagine there are many teams in the league that would object to his presence on their roster. We’ll likely continue to hear trade chatter about Rondo as the February 20th trade deadline fast approaches.