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Ainge: “Nothing to” Rondo Rumors

 

Will Rondo be traded to the Knicks? Cliff notes: Probably not.

Over the weekend, multiple media outlets reported that the New York Knicks were making a somewhat desperate push for Rajon Rondo — a report which made some sense, since the Knicks have started the season in disappointing fashion and could probably use an upgrade over Raymond Felton at the point guard slot.

Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald talked to Danny Ainge and had this report:

The recent spate of rumors regarding the possible trade of Rajon Rondo are not based in any Celtic reality.

“I haven’t talked to any teams about Rajon Rondo,” Celts’ president of basketball operation Danny Ainge told the Herald this morning.

He has, however, fielded a number of calls wanting to now if the rumors are true.

“It’s frustrating,” Ainge said.

Well then. Even the most staunch pro-tank advocates would hate this deal. Just because a team is rebuilding doesn’t mean they are having a fire sale on their best pieces, assuming some modicum of intelligence on the part of their GM. Ainge is not stupid. Even if his goal is to lose every game this season, he could get considerably more value for Rondo in a draft night deal than he could in the proposed Knicks trade.

The reported deal was for Iman Shumpert — New York’s inexplicably doghoused guard and also their only real trade asset (who, as previously mentioned, isn’t getting a chance to showcase his skills because of the aforementioned doghousing. Yay Knicks!) It’s not hard to imagine that other teams heard that Shumpert was the centerpiece in a Rondo trade and thought “We would be willing to give more.” Hence the “number of calls” and hence the “frustration” on Ainge’s part.

Any deal that moved Rondo, at the moment, would be ridiculous, and it’s good to hear Ainge denying any potential dealings.

Perhaps more intriguing (because, frankly, it’s considerably more plausible) was Chris Broussard’s report, in this tweet, which tags the Knicks as a team that might take on Gerald Wallace. The cost would be steep.

While C’s not moving Rondo, they would take back Amare in deal n which they could unload longer deals of Gerald Wallace &/or Courtney Lee

Before your head understandably explodes with anger, this deal would have nothing to do with Amar’e's potential production which is all but a sad afterthought at this point. Rather, this deal would be about Amar’e's $21 million/year salary which expires in 2015. That expiration would coincide with a couple of big free agents that summer, including a pair of top-10 Kevins: Durant and Love, assuming the latter opts out of the last year of his deal.

As proposed by Broussard, the trade doesn’t work. Wallace and Lee’s contracts are not large enough to equal Amare’s, nor would a deal involving those two make much sense for New York. However, a deal including Wallace and Kris Humphries might make sense for both parties. Wallace’s contract is bad, and one year longer than Stoudemire’s, but he’s also probably more useful in terms of actual production for the Knicks than STAT at this point. In addition, the stretch provision in his deal remains an option for whichever team employs him. Meanwhile, Humphries’ expiring would give the Knicks about $11 million in cap room next summer. The Celtics, essentially, would be killing their cap flexibility for one more season (a season in which they aren’t likely to be contenders anyway) in exchange for a LOT of room two years down the road.

This, however, is all speculation. We will keep you posted on this story if it develops beyond its current stage.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

  • The Cardinal

    Wow…what a batshoot crazy rumor and "silly season" hasn't even arrived yet. Thanks for the update, TW.

  • skeeds

    There is simply no motive here. Ainge's 1st priority when it comes to his elite pg, is to make sure he keeps having an elite pg. No contender can function without one (Lebron is a pg in this scenario), and most importantly, even if your plan is to eventually attract a Kevin Love, or a KD, recent free agency frenzies have taught us that clearing all the cap space in the world is secondary to having a good framework in place.

  • Ray

    What about this: Wallace, Lee, Asik to NY; Bass, Shumpert to Houston; Stoudamire to Boston.
    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=kla4s

    Only problem I see is I think Houston might want a little more for Asik and I don't see where it comes from.

    • http://CelticsHub.com Brendan Jackson

      Ray, I actually think this is a great trade proposal. Nice work. The key for Houston is that Asik wants out and the trade you proposed give them cap flexibility in '15/16. If they decline all of their options and bird rights to all of their players not named Harden and Howard, they will likely be between 14-16 mil under the cap (depending on what the cap is) which may be enough to sign a player like Harden outright. Say Harden and Howard are rolling along the next two season and are in constant contention. Would a player like LeBron (provided he doesn't exercise his ETO or PO) join up in Houston for 15 mil a season? Maybe. The one fly in the ointment is whether or not they decide to extend Parsons. He'll be in line for a huge pay raise but they might be content with a sign-and-trade depending on what their team looks like next season. Plus, if Parsons and Shumpert progress, they won't need another max-like player because they'll have good value with Shumpert and Parsons. Bass isn't the prototypical Morey guy, but he's an upgrade over Jones and Smith as this point and will be off the books after next season.

      The trade really makes no sense for NY. They're getting three veterans that can play, but the source of Asik's anger is that he's not starting and doesn't want to play alongside Howard. Playing with Tyson Chandler is the closest thing to playing with Howard without actually playing with Howard. Furthermore, Wallace and Ron Artest are redundant as this point in their respective careers. With all that being said, trading Shumpert doesn't see to make any sense to begin with so don't discount it.

      All this being said, three team trades are really hard to pull off. I doubt anything like this happens.

      • Sophomore

        But does Boston do this? Yes, we get to drop a year of Wallace's salary. Great! But it's only one year, and we lose Bass, a potential rotation player for a contender on a reasonable contract. Is this really Bass' ceiling – a piece in a trade that helps us buy a one-year salary dump?

        • http://CelticsHub.com Brendan Jackson

          Unfortunately, yes.

          He's gotten better with more responsibility which is not something you can say about every NBA player. But the fact remains, he'll be 29 this season and is an undersized power forward who relies on athleticism and a fantastic midrange jumpshot. By the time the Celtics are ready to contend again, how much athleticism will he have left? For all the strides he's made as an individual defender- being able to guard bigger wings- he's still not a great team defender. If he can bring some salary relief while the Celtics are rebuilding, I'd say the Celtics take it. I think the Celtics would have signed Kendall Marshall, Romero Osby, or Chris Babb by now if they weren't in danger of being a repeat salary tax offender. If they can send out more salary than they take back while freeing up roster spots, they'll sign some young guys with promise to vet min deals.

          So in other words, the Knicks are losing their minds! And the Celtics are reaping the benefits!

  • Mark

    NY and all Knicks fans deserve a hearty…LOL!

  • janos

    this not acept to me of trade him i am draw thelines here

  • hax

    1) Reading espn comments. Knicks fans are throwing out countless all-star names while only dangling shumpert.

    2) Then the Knicks give up a 1st rounder for bargnani, but they ended the Faried trade because Denver wanted a 1st rounder thrown in? Their management is extremely desperate at this point and they seem to think ripping off other teams is their only way out of the grave they dug themselves.

    3) A trade of Wallace-Lee-Bass for Stoudamire works financially. The Knicks would get another front court guy that can play well, and a couple stout defenders off the bench. Trading 3 contracts for 1 does make sense in a rebuilding state. There is also the slim chance that Amare gets healthy and becomes an all-star again. Best case scenario, that hurts the team, tanks us, we get wiggins, then amare becomes healthy and returns to all-star form next season becoming a valuable player and/or trade chip. Worst case, We get 21 million off the books in 2 years instead of Bass's 6 & wallace & lee's contracts remaining.

    4) Humphries is too good for this deal. He is 12 million off our books next year, and can play solidly off the bench. We shouldn't trade him unless true value comes back.

    5) Don't understand the Lin-Asik trades. Two non-all stars with huge contracts, when we have Rondo-Faverani on much better contracts already.

  • tbunny

    Knicks are fine. They won a playoff series last year. That was their championship. This year is just gravy.

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