Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green could be traded either before the midseason trade deadline or during draft night despite the firm stance of Boston Celtics front office not to give away their two best players.
Green averages a team high 16.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game for the Celtics. But a veteran NBA and Chicago Bulls writer believed the former Georgetown Hoyas standout will be eventually moved to satisfy the Celtics' need for multiple future draft picks.
"It sounds more and more like with Rajon Rondo's return and a ceremonial bestowing of captaincy the Celtics plan to keep Rondo and try to get him to extend. It makes sense given the importance of point guards. More executives think the Celtics want to trade Jeff Green," Sam Smith said in his article.
Smith predicted the Celtics could make a deal with the Houston Rockets, which adds more depth in their lineup. The veteran analyst said the Celtics could swap Green and Gerald Wallace for disgruntled center Omer Asik before the Feb. 20 trade deadline.
"They're probably trying to persuade someone to take Gerald Wallace along with Green, though many figure they'll eventually move Green. A nice exchange could be for Omer Asik, giving the Celtics a point guard/defensive center core to move forward with along with Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk. And Houston could use Green as a stretch four scorer," the analyst added.
With $18.4 million left on Green's contract, CBS Sports Insider Matt Moore agreed to Smith's proposition of giving away Green and his fat contract in an attempt to get them in position to sign max free-agent this season.
"Moving Green makes more sense. He's got over $18.4 million left on his contract and has never been the star that the Celtics hoped he would grow to be. They can get good return on him, though, and the Asik deal isn't bad. I'm not sure what Asik gives the Celtics that they need besides a rim protector who isn't horrible, but its' an idea," Moore said.
Rondo's Days In Boston Are Numbered
Whether the Celtics will stay put with Rondo past the trade deadline, NBA insiders really believed the playmaker's days in Beantown are numbered. General Manager Danny Ainge may use the remainder of the season as the timeframe to evaluate Rondo's performance off a major surgery.
Rondo averages just 5 points and 5 dimes per game in his first few games coming off a year-long rehab due to a torn ACL injury. These numbers were pale in comparison to his stats in the previous season, but these will nevertheless increase as soon as he gets back to his old form.
As for Ainge, he has the reputation of pulling off timely trades. In 2007, the Celtics GM came up with the biggest coup of his career as the Celtics executive by bringing Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to join forces with Paul Pierce. That core group won them a championship that year, and it's job to put the Celtics back in contention as quick as possible.
"Ainge has a reputation of having a good time in pulling off big trades. And like what happened in 2007, the Celtics GM could hammer a deal at Draft night, where franchise-changing talents like Andrew Wiggins, Jabbari Parker, Dante Exum and Joel Embid are up for grabs. Chances are the Celtics could get a high pick and another one via trade to get a super-rookie combo. Ainge can come up with really good surprises, and the draft is a good place to do it."
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