So, with the caveat that this is rumor season, and I strongly advise you to believe nothing that you hear - I have to pass this rumor along. In particular because it comes from the typically reliable Ken Berger.
However, CBSSports.com has learned that the Lakers have engaged in preliminary trade discussions with an unlikely trade partner regarding Howard: their fierce rival, the Boston Celtics. The centerpieces of the possible deal, which hasn't gained any traction, would be Howard and Rajon Rondo.
Of course, even Berger makes sure to point out how unlikely this could be. He goes on...
Celtics president Danny Ainge would not trade Rondo without an assurance that Howard would re-sign with Boston as a free agent this summer, a league source said. Howard has shown no inclination to commit to anyone, including the Lakers, until the season is over. Since the league source familiar with the discussions characterized them as preliminary, it's possible that the talks could be tabled until after the season.
I can't imagine that this has any real chance of happening. If nothing else, it just proves that Danny Ainge will listen to anything. I just don't see it having any legs.
Still, imagine the implications...
Ainge has indicated that he'd only trade Rondo for a star player (he was dangled for Chris Paul last year). Dwight Howard (this year's struggles not withstanding) seems to qualify. In the right system with the right coach (that has proven to know how to use defensive minded big men), he could thrive and fix what's left of his reputation. Imagine a frontcourt of KG and Dwight. Wow.
On the flipside, if the Lakers really don't think they can re-sign Howard, they might decide to reboot and retool on the fly. They'd be punting this year for the most part, but Kobe is a big, big Rondo fan and would be happy to play the rest of his career next to a guy who's sole purpose in life is to get him the ball where he can score.
In a sick, twisted way, some of this makes sense. But, ...ugh.
I do NOT want the Dwightmare to haunt us the way it has Orlando and L.A. I don't know if my heart could take it. Plus I'm an even bigger Rondo fan than Kobe is, so this would be beyond heartbreaking.
Again, all of this is beyond preliminary. It is sure to be vehemently denied by everyone involved 6 ways from Sunday. I won't believe it until I see it. But oh man, I think this is going to generate a bit of discussion around here.