As the NBA season gets closer, the trade rumors around Rajon Rondo creep up once again. This has been an ongoing cycle for the better part of a year. The point guard has been rumored to be on his way out of Boston ever since the Celtics moved Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets a year ago. However, Rondo continues to remain on the roster while staying quiet about his future. Approaching free agency next summer, will a team make a move on Rondo at the last minute?
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The rumors on Rondo are coming from all over the NBA community, so really everything must be taken with a grain of salt. According to NBA writer Dylan Hughes, the Indiana Pacers are the best team to make a move for Rondo before the end of the offseason. The Pacers need a scorer. The team lost Paul George for the season after a leg injury suffered with Team USA. They let Lance Stephenson to free agency after not agreeing to a contract extension. That means the two best offensive players of 2013-14 after gone and have not been replaced.
Hughes makes not that team president Larry Bird noted that the Pacers were not interested in tanking the season following the loss of George. He also appears ready and willing to ship way Roy Hibbert following his steep fall from grace in the second half of last season. So far, NBA sources have reported that Bird has tried to escalate deals for both Greg Monroe and Goran Dragic, but has failed to finalize either one. Would he swap Hibbert for Rondo?
The deal certainly works for both teams. Hibbert can opt out of his contract next summer which would leave the Pacers with nothing in return. The Celtics have been loading up on expiring deals in hopes of making bigger moves next offseason in free agency so getting Hibbert would not hurt the plan. The Pacers would get a point guard upgrade and scorer on the roster, something they are desperate for.
While Hughes is reporting that deal with the Indiana Pacers could be possible, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England is reporting that Rondo will most likely begin the 2014 season on the Celtics' roster, but that does not mean he will finish it in Boston. The Celtics will keep the doors open about a potential trade of the point guard, but Blakely notes that the team will have to be blown away by an offer if they are going to give up Rondo. What that deal most consist of is unknown, but Boston has been loading up on first-round draft picks so they will want a few in this trade as well.
Rondo wants to be on a team with deep talent. That does not include Boston at the moment. It could include the Pacers, especially once George returns healthy. Anything could happen with this Rondo situation. Kevin Love faced the same kind of rumors and the end result was a trade. Rondo could be faced with the same conclusion.