Think we could get through Christmas week without a Rondo rumor? Think again. This one though is a special treat though since it involves the New York Knicks. Here’s an excerpt from yesterday’s column by Brian Windhorst, a well respected reporter over at ESPN.com that explains the Knicks hope of landing the All-Star point guard:
According to league sources, the Knicks’ first prong is to try to attract the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo. This idea has been tossed around in various forms for a while now, it’s not shocking. But the way the Knicks are hoping to get Rondo is a little unusual.
It’s not in free agency in 2015 but later this season or next summer when he comes back from a torn ACL. The Knicks are hoping Rondo will be interested in making a maneuver similar to what Anthony did back in 2011 and eventually try to force a trade to the Knicks, sources said.
The Celtics have consistently denied they want to trade Rondo. But once this trade deadline passes, and it isn’t clear if he will even play before February, Rondo will have only one guaranteed season left on his contract. Like with Anthony when he applied pressure to the Denver Nuggets by threatening to leave in free agency, the Knicks wonder if Rondo will be able to have a say in where he might be traded if the Celtics end up fearful he’ll leave in free agency.
That may seem contrived, yes, but this isn’t a made-up scenario. It is a genuine option. You have to give the Knicks this: It has worked before.
CH’s Take: Windhorst is right about the fact it has worked before. However, there are a lot of other major differences between the Knicks’ situation from when they dealt for Melo and their situation right now.
For one thing, I believe Danny Ainge when he has said he isn’t interested in trading Rondo for the time being. Brad Stevens and Rondo appear to be working well together for now, and he’d be foolish to try to attempt to break up that marriage without giving it a year or two.
Perhaps more importantly though is the Knicks situation. Where as they had a treasure trove of legitimate assets to send the Nuggets’ way in exchange for Carmelo Anthony, that’s far from the truth for now or next season, whenever they have the pipe dream of dealing for Rondo.
The Knicks don’t have any first round draft picks to trade until 2018. The rest of their roster is filled with largely over-the-hill overpriced veterans. There are a few young prospects around, like Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. but neither of those guys are even close to being enough to pry about Rondo in a deal. Even if the Knicks were willing to clear the decks for the Celtics and take every bad contract they had (Gerald Wallace, Courtney Lee, etc.) it still wouldn’t be enough to get the deal done in my estimation.
So I know it’s a depressing time of year for the Knicks, especially around the holidays, but they are dreaming here. Even if they want to, there’s just no way they have enough assets to trade for Rondo. Plus, if the point guard forces his way out of town (a major reach), you can bet Ainge isn’t giving in and taking a lackluster return return by the Knicks to appease Rondo and set up a division rival for years.