The Pistons are interested in acquiring Rajon Rondo, and they'd like to package Brandon Knight and an expiring contract in a deal with the Celtics to get him, as Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes in his weekly league roundup. Still, that offer wouldn't come close to prying the point guard from Boston, Washburn notes.
It's not the first time we've heard the Pistons connected to Rondo. Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News said earler this month that the team would likely be at the front of the line if Boston makes its All-Star available, echoing a report from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that the Pistons have made their interest clear. Celtics GM Danny Ainge insists he won't move Rondo this summer in spite of the departure of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and coach Doc Rivers, the team's other cornerstones.
Rondo, 27, is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in late January, and he seems likely to miss the early portion of this coming season. He's locked up through 2015 on a team-friendly contract that will pay him $11,954,545 in 2013/14. Knight is entering the third season of his rookie-scale contract, and the Pistons have a pair of sizable expiring deals to pair with him. Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey are set to make about $8.5MM each. Detroit isn't planning on using the amnesty clause to get rid of Villanueva, which would allow the team to use him as a trade chip this season.
The Celtics acquired three first-round picks in their trade with the Nets, but Washburn writes that the Pistons couldn't add to Boston's haul of first-rounders. Detroit owes the Bobcats a first-round pick, and the protection attached to it extends through 2016. The Ted Stepien Rule, which prevents teams from trading first-round picks in consecutive seasons, would prevent the Pistons from sending out a first-rounder in one of the next few drafts, but I think they could give up a 2018 or 2019 first-round pick, if the Celtics are interested.