Increasing Belief that Ainge will trade Rondo for assets

Just read this:

"All three of the teams ahead of [the Celtics] have at least one young player they can conceivably build around. The Celtics? Rajon Rondo could be that building block. But he turns 28 in February, has posed chemistry issues in the past and there is an increasing belief among NBA circles that GM Danny Ainge will use him, once healthy, to get multiple assets back. So the chances that he's the Celtics' cornerstone moving forward look slim. Unless you think Avery Bradley or Jared Sullinger is a savior, the cupboard is pretty bare."

-Chad Ford ESPN Insider's Tank Rank

If Ainge does move Rondo, I think one possible destination would be Orlando. Everyone expects Orlando to be selling and tanking, but they do have three very interesting pieces that they could easily build around in Afflalo, Oladipo and Vucevic

Instead of taking a chance in the draft on Smart or Exum, perhaps Ainge can offer Orlando a better option... a quick rebuild:

BOS: Nelson, Maxiell, Harkless, Harris, Lamb, 2014 1st

ORL: Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green,

Orlando's Rationale:

Yes, its costly, but Orlando can enter the 2014-15 season with a very solid core of Rondo, Afflalo, Green, Baby, and Vucevic. Oladipo can be your 6th man, think defensive James Harden. Another key point is that this core (plus Nicholson) is only costing the Magic 45M next year. They can easily pick up a nice supporting cast in free agency, or put in an offer on a guy like Greg Monroe to fit in next to Vucevic and then use some exceptions to fill out their bench.

By no means this is a contender, but it certainly has potential to be a 3 or 4 seed in the east and do some damage. Vucevic and Oladipo will continue to improve and Rondo, Afflalo and Green are all in their prime and can carry the team to some wins.

Celtic's Rationale:

For the Celtics, the assets are there. Harkless, Harris and Lamb are three very good young players. The Celtics can leverage Maxiell's expiring contract next year and Nelson's salary is not guaranteed, so he can be let go.

The true prize is that second 2014 first round pick, likely top 5, definitely top 10. I would expect there to be some protection on the pick, but hopefully nothing more than top-3 protected, else the Celtics can't do this trade.

At the very best, the Celtics are able to draft both Smart or Exum and Embiid. They start forming a core of guys in their early 20's (much like the Suns), develop a new system around Stevens and continue to get better every year. Celtics also shed salary and can actually put a near-max offer on a guy like Hayward. Maybe they get lucky and Smart is as NBA ready as Lillard was and we can compete with a roster like: Smart, Bradley, Hayward, Harkless, Harris, Sullinger, Olynyk, Embiid, Favarani... that's a lot of young, quick 3 and D guys with one monster-upside defensive anchor.

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