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Berger: Celtics Have Had Preliminary Discussions About Trading Rajon Rondo for Dwight Howard


All was quiet on a Friday All-Star Weekend, but that’s all about to change now. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, one of the most well respected reporters on the national level with strong ties to Boston is reporting that the Celtics have held preliminary (albeit unlikely) trade talks centering around the Celtics dealing Rajon Rondo for Dwight Howard. Here is the key excerpt of the must-read piece.

Howard said Friday that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has told him he does not want to trade the free agent-to-be. It’s the same message Kupchak delivered in a recent interview withNewsday and the same message he’s given Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, in recent weeks.

However, CBSSports.com has learned that the Lakers have engaged in preliminary trade discussions with an unlikely trade partner regarding Howard: their fierce rival, the Boston Celtics. The centerpieces of the possible deal, which hasn’t gained any traction, would be Howard and Rajon Rondo.

The imagination runs rampant with the tantalizing possibilities.

Other significant pieces would have to be involved, since Rondo’s $11 million salary is substantially less than Howard’s $19.5 million. If the Lakers dealt Howard for an All-Star point guard who is out for the rest of the season following ACL surgery, they’d effectively be throwing in the towel on this miserable, underachieving season and looking to next year.

There are at least two significant impediments to a Howard-Rondo deal. First, as Howard said Friday, the Lakers continue to insist they won’t trade him, which sources say is the impression the Celtics have gotten, too. Second, Celtics president Danny Ainge would not trade Rondo without an assurance that Howard would re-sign with Boston as a free agent this summer, a league source said. Howard has shown no inclination to commit to anyone, including the Lakers, until the season is over.

Since the league source familiar with the discussions characterized them as preliminary, it’s possible that the talks could be tabled until after the season.

CH’s Take: Needless to say at first glance, I’d say the possibility of such a deal going down is very small. As Berger outlines, there are plenty of obstacles involved including matching salaries, getting Howard to commit to a long-term deal, amongst other factors. With that said, there are definite shockwaves that will be sent out because of this kind of talk since it means a few things.

1) Danny Ainge is considering going for it all this and next season, with KG and Paul Pierce proving they can compete at an extremely high level in the last month.

2) This team still may not be entirely sold on building around Rajon Rondo in the future, especially a Rondo that is coming back from a ACL tear.

Given that these two teams are lifelong enemies in the NBA scope, it’s incredible to have such a big deal like this even under consideration. Needless to say, we’ll have a lot to talk about here in the coming days on CelticsHub as we get closer to the trade deadline.

Stay tuned to CelticsHub for plenty of more analysis and breaking news on any potential deals or trade talks as they develop.

  • http://twitter.com/michaeljavid @michaeljavid

    Six more weeks until April Fools Day. Why am I reading this in the middle of February?

    • hydrofluoric

      Amen! But as Doc says, it's silly season…

  • elroz

    These teams might be "enemies" but if they are to make it into the finals, they need to make deals like that perhaps. Otherwise they will remain regular-season enemies, while the finals will see somebody else.

    For Nash, Pau, Kobe…and for PP-KG to make it into the finals, they need to make big deals with each other.

    If Dwight leaves LA after this year…the Lakers get what in return? Nothing.

    They are better w/o Howard but with a healthy Gasol ….

  • Leon Sandcastle

    no.. flat out no.. id rather have chandler, love, hibbert, jefferson, josh smith.. at least they have positive attitudes and dont have a hard on for going to brooklyn

  • DaDiVill

    Number 12 is available in Boston! WELCOME D12!

  • Banner18

    So much wrong with this. 20 mill.? Torn labrum? Biggest joke in the league?

  • ozcelts

    Clowns belong in small cars driving around circus tents- they don't belong in green singlets

  • HansGruber

    Only reason I'd let this happen is if Dwight admitted to Boston that he's playing terribly cause he hates LA and he ended up playing like his normal self here. Otherthan that, I don't want to swap a 6 foot a-hole for a 6'11 a-hole.

  • Diesel

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine/ this would be the dream scenario throw in a 1st rounder to LA

  • Portceltic

    Berger & Wojo are creditable sources, but why would LA do this? They're locked into Nash and trading for an injured Rondo would equate to discarding a great year for Kobe — albeit he was lauding RR two weeks ago. Did he know something we didn't know?

    Regardless of whether DH signs long term I'd do this in a heartbeat as it makes us bonafide co favorites in the eastern conference. Kup, and LA brass can't be dumb enough to do this.

  • Morpheus

    Then what happens to Nash. This is just rumours folks, it's deadline time next week so naturally we're going to hear all therse rumours flying around.

  • Phil725

    How many years is it going to be before people learn that key words like 'discussions' or 'considering' mean nothing when it comes to rumors? I'm sure Ainge is weighing trading every person on the team, and every other GM is doing the same. Hundreds of calls are made a day, and everyone is eligible to be traded. Stories like this are the epitome of just putting names in a headline to generate clicks.

    Now even if there was some substance to this rumor (which everything I'm hearing now is indicating there isn't,) the salaries don't even work. The Cs would have to add a long term deal, and the Lakers want no part of a bad contract on top of trading Howard. That means it would take a third team, and now it just gets unrealistic.

  • http://crbioventures.com/?p=100 home senior care

    Incredible! Mega insightful write up. Therefore i’m book-marking your post as soon as possible. With thanks!

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