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Why trading Rajon Rondo is still just a last resort option

Trading Rondo is an option. I just think it is Plan Z.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

It was only a matter of time before this topic was raised again.  The Celtics are in a similar (yet still very different) situation with Rajon Rondo that Minnesota is with Kevin Love.  So if we somehow can't trade for Love, would it make sense to trade Rondo?  Some think so.

Here's a little more background on this thinking.

Danny Ainge says the Boston Celtics are ready for anything - ESPN Boston

Boston's All-Star point guard has expressed a desire to test unrestricted free agency after the 2014-15 season and, while it's highly unlikely that the Celtics would watch Rondo leave town without compensation, that is a possibility if he gets to the open market. So the Celtics have to give just a little extra consideration to any trade offers that float across Ainge's desk this offseason.

I understand the thought process here and I will begrudgingly admit that it is an option they have to leave open.  I just believe trading Rondo should only happen in a last resort situation (or as a result of a Godfather, can't-refuse type offer).

I would be in favor of trading Rondo if we didn't trade for Kevin Love or any other star players and Rondo quietly pulled management aside and told them of his desire to play for a contender sooner rather than later (sighting his leverage of leaving as a free agent in a year).  That very well could happen, but not before Ainge and the team explores every other avenue.

Once again, look at the Final Four teams. Look at all the Championship winners.  They always have star players and usually they have multiple stars.  Star players are really, really hard to come by.  We've got one already in Rajon Rondo.  Trading him for more assets puts us back a step.

Besides, what are we going to get in exchange for Rondo except more draft picks and young players?  We're up to our ears in draft picks and we've already got a few good young players.  At some point you have to turn those picks in to stars.  Either you have to draft and develop a star (which takes time and results vary), or you cobble together your assets and trade for that star.

To put it another way, I'm a fan of Sully and Olynyk and they could end up being very good.  If you try to build a championship with a bunch of young, could-be-very-good-someday players, it will take a very long time and it probably won't even work.  The Presit-plan is probably the best case scenario and that still hasn't resulted in a title (plus they actually won the lottery to get Durant).

Again, you need stars.  I'd even argue that at this point in the league you almost need a star to get more stars.  Say we trade Rondo and then immediately trade for Kevin Love.  Do you think Love is going to sign an extension or give any kind of assurances of re-upping his deal after the year is up?  Do you think he's excited about being the best player on a lottery team again?  Right now Rajon Rondo is a draw for someone like Love (or Melo or pick your star of choice).  Take that away and you are back to square one again, looking for that first star player.

In theory you could trade Rondo for another star player.  But I don't think the Thunder would go for the oft-suggested Rondo for Russell Westbrook idea and star-for-star deals in general are rare.

I guess you never know.  Rajon Rondo could be traded.  Maybe there's a team out there willing to give us a truck load of picks and players for him.  Maybe that same team is still going to be good enough to get assurances from Rondo that he'd consider sticking around long term.  Maybe Ainge will find a way to flip all those assets for other stars and our team will look completely different in the years ahead.

It could all happen.  I just don't think it is very likely and I'm not excited about taking another step back in the rebuilding process.

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