The trade rumors surrounding Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo hasn't subsided yet, but this time, the All-Star playmaker is being linked to a potential sting with the emerging Eastern Conference powerhouse Indiana Pacers, a source close to situation reported on Sunday.
While Rondo is just few weeks away to making his return on the floor after tearing his ACL almost a year ago, the rumor mill continues to heat up once again with an earth-shaking Celtics-Pacers trade gaining significant momentum.
Ever since the Celtics regressed from a championship contender to a playoff hopeful, the Pacers has assumed the role as the chief rival to the two-time defending champion Miami Heat. In last year's Eastern Conference Finals, the Pacers came close to beating the Heat but they fizzled out in the seventh and deciding game of their epic series.
Blockbuster Trade in the Making?
There's no doubt that Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has developed an animosity towards the Heat after engaging in several emotional games during the Big 3 Era.
Now, Ainge has a chance to spoil Heat's three-peat party by supplying his former teammate and friend Larry Bird, who happens to be the Pacers GM, the player who would complete their championship puzzle while the Celtics are trying to rebuild their franchise.
In the proposed trade, the Celtics will be sending Rondo to the Pacers in exchange for serviceable veteran Danny Granger, George Hill and a first-round pick in next year's loaded NBA Draft.
For the Celtics, they would get a solid scorer in Granger, a nice, young combo guard in Hill and a first-round pick in a very deep draft class this coming summer. On the other hand, the Pacers will finally have a pass-first point guard who can make them a more potent team with Paul George, Roy Hibbert, David West and Lance Stephenson on the floor.
Grantland writer Zach Lowe provided a nice breakdown of this proposed deal even before the 2013-14 NBA season starts.
"The Celtics wouldn't mind their young guys getting to experience meaningful late-season games, but the guess here is that the front office would rather have at least one very nice first-round pick in a loaded draft," Lowe wrote via Latinos Post.
"In other words, look for everyone to be on the table. Bass might be the most tradeable guy, since he's a solid player with just one year left on his contract after this season. But bigger names will come up. Jeff Green has fans around the league, and Rondo's contract expires after next season," he added.
Will this trade happen soon? Only Ainge and Bird know the answer. If this trade eventually pushes through, expect the Heat to counter with a big trade of its own.
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