Boston Celtics fans may not recognize their team next season.
Less than a day removed from the blockbuster deal that shipped Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics are now considering a trade for all-star point guard Rajon Rondo.
According to Dallasbasketball.com, the Dallas Mavericks have serious interest in the NBA’s leading assist man. Both ESPN and Yahoo! Sports confirmed the talks, with Yahoo! adding that Boston likes recently drafted guard Shane Larkin.
One of the biggest trade partners during Thursday’s draft, Dallas took Larkin with the No. 13 overall pick and several reports state they were going to keep him. Larkin led the Miami Hurricanes on an incredible run last season, helping the team win a record number of games.
Rondo, who missed most of the second half of the season with a torn ACL, is the last main cog that helped the Celtics win their last NBA title in 2008. He has spent his entire career in Boston, with career averages of 11.1 points and 8.3 assists, but over the last three seasons he’s averaged at least 11 assists a game. The 27-year-old has also played in four straight All-Star Games.
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The Celtics have thought over trades for Rondo before. They reportedly offered Rondo to New Orleans in exchange for point guard Chris Paul back in 2011.
Boston team president Danny Ainge is trying to complete a total overhaul seemingly overnight. Moving Pierce and Garnett netted the Celtics three first-round draft picks, along with the expiring contract of Kris Humphries, young guard MarShon Brooks, and veteran forward Gerald Wallace.
And just days before the draft, Ainge pried a future first round pick from the L.A. Clippers in exchange for head coach Doc Rivers.
Rondo is owed almost $36 million in salary over the next three years. The Mavericks are trying to shed salary so they can offer center Dwight Howard a maximum level contract, so adding Rondo’s contract now seems a bit curious. Dallas has just over $44 million on its books next season, and just $7.7 million committed the following year with forward Dirk Nowitzki’s contract expiring.
However teaming up with a pass-first creator like Rondo could be appealing to Howard. Dallas is competing with the L.A. Lakers, Houston Rockets, and Atlanta Hawks for Howard’s services.