Not all trade rumors make sense, but when respectable sources mention that the Dallas Mavericks are trying to obtain Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics, only to get a reply that requests Dirk Nowitzki in return, it becomes something worth discussing.
It seemed that all the moves made by the Celtics this offseason: letting Doc Rivers go and then trading Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets, along with other pieces going back and forth, was the beginning of a rebuild, and Rajon Rondo being a centerpiece in the new age.
But according to Marc Stein, the Dallas Mavericks, very interested in getting a point guard, contacted the Celtics in regards to Rondo. The answer? Dirk Nowitzki, or no deal, which pretty much means that the Celtics aren’t interested in trading Rondo, or that the Mavs don’t have any pieces that interest them.
This doesn’t mean Rondo is off the table. Some suggest that part of completely rebuilding will be getting rid of Rondo, who probably has quite a lot of trade value with his $24 million for the next couple of years and being part of the group usually included in the discussion for best point guard in the NBA.
However, Rondo is directly or indirectly involved with two key pieces like Ray Allen and Doc Rivers leaving the team. There’s more than a slight chance the Celtics are willing to shop him as well and really make a fresh start, without anyone left from the 2008 title-winning team.
Nowitzki is entering the final year of his contract at $22.7 million, but he’s willing to take a paycut and extend it a bit, as the Mavs are looking to become a title contender by the end of next season, with Nowitzki still being a part of all this. It’s simply hard to imagine Dirk being a part of a trade that sends him away and pretty much puts Dallas in complete rebuilding mode, as oppose to re-tooling mode.
It also doesn’t make sense if you’re Boston. It takes you off the path of rebuilding, even though Nowitzki’s current contract can be used as a trading chip near the end of next season. At 35, but a lot healthier than he was last season, he can still be the centerpiece of a 40-win team, but the Celtics are looking for long term solutions, and it’s hard to believe something like this can happen. That’s even before we mention Nowitki’s no-trade clause.
Boston don’t want to make the postseason next year, that’s pretty simply. With Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and not much else, they’re not going to come close. With Nowitzki on this team, even without Rondo, they can find themselves in it as the East doesn’t offer too much quality beyond the top 4 teams.
Maybe a deal can happen between the teams, but not under these conditions. It might call for others to be involved, using a third team to move some parts around, but the simple suggestion of Rondo and Nowitzki is not going to happen, for too many reasons.