The New York Knicks have maintained their interest in Al-Star point guard Rajon Rondo despite the strong denial of the Boston Celtics front office to include the playmaker in trade talks, a source close to situation reported on Friday.
The Knicks are trying to 'swing for the fences' in an attempt to get Rondo before the Feb 20 trade deadline. The Knickerbockers' intention to acquire the reigning assists champion remains their top priority as they look to make a second half push towards the postseason.
According to SB Nation, the Knicks could make All-Star power forward Amar'e Stoudemire as the centerpiece of the package for Rondo. The team is also looking to sweeten up their package by adding shooting guard Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton and perhaps disgruntled center Tyson Chandler (including some draft picks).
"Although the Boston Celtics continue to tell potential trade partners that star point guard Rajon Rondo isn't available, that hasn't stopped the New York Knicks from working to put together a package for him, according to a report from USA Today's Sam Amick. The Knicks would likely have to package Amar'e Stoudemire with other players in order to lure the Celtics," SB nation writer Dane Carbaugh reported.
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The Knicks are expected to become aggressive weeks before the trade deadline. Trying to convince Anthony to stay put in the Big Apple, New York will do everything they can to add another All-Star caliber player to their roster. The team has shown interest in Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, but Rondo remains their main trade target.
"New York continues to be aggressive leading up to the Feb. 20 deadline as they try to build a team that would entice Carmelo Anthony to stay next summer, when he is a free agent. Coupled with the fact New York can offer him the most money in free agency, a big-time player like Rondo could be a tipping point as the Knicks look to keep one of the best players in the NBA," said SB Nation.
Rondo has been showing signs of recovery from his ACL injury as he's averaging 8.4 points, 6.9 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 8 games.
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