This obviously ins't a topic that I enjoy much, but it is very relevant given the rumors that are surrounding the team right now. If the Celtics miss out on Kevin Love, there are a few rumors indicating that the Celtics may pursue trading Rajon Rondo.
Granted, we've gone over this in the past (more than a few times). I don't believe that if Love goes elsewhere Danny will automatically strap a For Sale sign around Rondo's neck. Still, it is one route the team could go and it has been a while since I actually took the time to figure out what we could get for Rondo.
There are a lot of teams that might be interested in our Connect Four Guru, but the team that keeps coming up seems to be the Kings. Rondo might not want to go to Sacramento, but the team might roll the dice and try to trade for him anyway, banking on selling him on the city and their plans to build a winner around him. They'd pair Rondo with Rudy Gay (who just picked up his player option for next year) and DeMarcus Cousins.
So what would they offer the Celtics for Rondo?
Prediction: if Celts can't get Love or Embiid, they will pursue Sac's no. 8 pick plus more with Rondo as bait (to end up with 6 + 8 + 17).— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) June 22, 2014
@celticsblog I might go 8 + McLemore. MIGHT.— Tom Ziller (@teamziller) June 21, 2014
So in theory the Celtics could pick Exum or Smart with the 6th pick and hope that they can still get Aaron Gordon with the 8th pick. They would also have Ben McLemore to play at the 2 guard spot (maybe backing up Avery Bradley). I'm not that familiar with Ben's game but he's supposedly a pure shooter ....who happened to have a poor shooting year as a rookie. See below for a review from Sactown Royalty.
But expectations soon gave way to reality, and the reality was that the success McLemore had at the college level was not yet ready to translate to the NBA. His shooting, excellent at Kansas, dipped dramatically in the NBA. He looked relatively lost on the court even in summer league, showcasing an inability to dribble, create his own shot or defend.
It's not just shooting that Ben has to work on offensively though. He particularly needs to work on his ballhandling skills, a known weakness coming out of college. Right now he's not much use dribbling aside from straight line dribbling, and he gets in trouble when he's put under much pressure at all.
So the Celtics developmental squad going forward would likely be:
- Marcus Smart
- Ben McLemore
- Aaron Gordon
- Jared Sullinger
- Kelly Olynyk
That's a lineup that has some upside, but there's also a high probability that they'd be in the lottery again next year (despite the weakness of the East).
Granted, I'm kind of hand-waving what will happen to Jeff Green and Brandon Bass, but I'm assuming we'd get some kind of compensation for them via trade. We'd also have the 17th pick to use and all our future first rounders still in place. We might even explore the option of sign-and-trading Avery Bradley for even more assets.
Also, all of this assumes that Joel Embiid is off the board before us. But I wouldn't rule that pick out either - especially if we use all 3 picks in this theoretical scenario.
Again, I'm not a fan of trading Rondo, but if this is the direction that Ainge sees the most value, then I don't think he'd be afraid to pull the trigger.
So what do you think? If Love went elsewhere and Danny couldn't find good value elsewhere, would you be ok with trading Rondo for the package that the Kings would possibly offer up? If not the Kings, then who else would be a good fit?