There have been reports that the Houston Rockets have been inquiring about star point guard Rajon Rondo ranging as far back as the trade deadline. Now, the Rockets may finally have found the opportunity they need.
ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan is reporting that the 28-year old has informed the Celtics that he “wants out” of Boston. In a behind the scenes clip from Around the Horn, Jackie MacMullan said (when asked who is the next star to be traded), “I know it. And it will happen ‘cause he’s (Rondo) told him he wants out. And no one believes me, but that’s the truth.”
A report like this is a huge flag to teams like the Rockets, the Kings, and the Pacers who all have been in the hunt for a new starting point guard. The Kings were assumed to be the biggest contender for the former all-star but according to MacMullan, now they’re out of the race. “Yeah, and they’ll give up McLemore. But the thing is, Rondo’s already told ‘em flat-out, I will never re-sign with you. So that’s no good,” MacMullan stated.
So that leaves the Rockets and the Pacers as likely front runners to land Rajon Rondo. The Pacers have been rumored to be shopping center Roy Hibbert, and an opportunity to upgrade at the point guard position is just an added bonus but Hibbert’s contract is what most would teams would shy away from. The 27-year old is due an outrageous $30 million over the next 2 years. Couple that along with his terrible play at the tail end of last season and extending into the playoffs, it would be difficult to see a situation where the Celtics would accept a trade that takes on his contract.
The Celtics would more than likely ask for 22-year old forward Terrence Jones and defensive stud Patrick Beverley along with a plethora of young talent. The Rockets do have a protected 1st-round pick (likely a lottery pick) from the Pelicans that they could also dangle to Celtics GM Danny Ainge.
Whatever the case may be, the Rockets are going to have to pay a pretty steep price if they truly want that third star they covet so much.
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