This story has the NBA's elite writers on it and this is what we know so far. According to ESPN's Marc Stein:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Celtics and Mavericks have been discussing a swap that would furnish Boston with multiple draft picks -- including at least one future first-rounder -- as well as blossoming Mavericks center Brandan Wright and other players needed to make the salary-cap math work.
Sources say the Celtics also have been talking to teams such as the Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets about potential Rondo deals, but that the most advanced discussions have been with Dallas.
More details from Yahoo Sports!' Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears:
As part of package, the Mavericks are willing to give Boston a 2015 first-round pick with limited lottery protection, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Before a deal is consummated, Dallas needs to confer with Rondo's agent, Bill Duffy, about the franchise's ability to re-sign him as a free agent in the summer. Those conversations wouldn't happen until an agreement is in place.
The Mavericks' interest has grown in the past several days, prompting the organization to begin further fact-finding on Rondo, sources said. The Mavericks are searching for ways to close the gap with the first-place Golden State Warriors, and are weighing a Rondo-Monta Ellis backcourt.
And this tidbit from CSNNE's A. Sherrod Blakely:
Brandan Wright and Jae Crowder were just a couple of names to possibly be included in the deal, but a source told CSNNE.com that the Celtics would be seeking "much more than that" either in the form of better players (Monta Ellis?), draft picks or a third team entering the mix.
Dizzy yet? Well, for Rondo-staying-in-Boston fans, this tweet kind of got me worried:
Danny Ainge and Steve Pagliuca were hanging outside the locker room just as Rajon Rondo's press conference wrapped up. Hmm....— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) December 18, 2014
We've heard this kind of heat around Rondo before, but with the underwhelming start to the season and the state of the rebuild as it is, the tenor of these new rumors are a little different. It's been reported that instead of Ainge passively fielding calls for Rondo, he's actively making them. My guess is that after striking out last off season with Kevin Love, Ainge doesn't see a big time free agent joining Rondo in the near future and a longer rebuild looks to be the more likely plan moving forward. In other words, this could really be happening. In addition to Dallas, the Lakers, Kings, Knicks, Pacers, and most notably, the Rockets have inquired about Rondo so although it appears that the Mavericks have lined up first with a potential (low ball) offer, this could drag out until the February deadline.
Currently, Brandan Wright ranks 5th in PER (John Hollinger's player efficiency rating), putting him in the same company as Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and Stephen Curry, but at 18.7 minutes a game, he might be fool's gold. He's also 27 and entering free agency next summer. If the Celtics really wanted his services, they could just sign him outright in June. There's also the matter of trading our best player to a team that's already a contender. Their first rounder will probably be in the 20+ range this summer and at best is a mid-range pick in future years.
"[Trade rumors have been] a way of life since I've been here," said Rondo. "It's just part of it."
Rondo was asked if his preference remains to stay in Boston long term and he smiled before offering, "How many times do you want me to say it?"
When a reporter joked that he could say it one more time given the latest rumors, Rondo laughed.
"We discussed it on Media Day," he said. "My thoughts and opinions, as far as the organization, haven't changed."
This just has to be a smoke screen to get other GM's to up the ante, right? Or maybe, it's Ainge's attempt to scare Rondo straight before his impending free agency in order to have him back down from his stance that he's a max player. Who knows? Tomorrow's another day. Another day, another rumor.