Are the Boston Celtics shopping Rajon Rondo? Not officially, but they wouldn’t say no to an offer they’d like, and so far, the Detroit Pistons seem like the most interested party, just with the wrong kind of deal they are trying to use in order to convince the Celtics.
Most of the time, especially when people ignore his personality and the fact that he is partially responsible for the 2008 championship falling apart, Rondo is regarded as one of the best point guards in the NBA. Top 3, top 5, it doesn’t really matter. With a contract that pays him $24.4 million for the next couple of years, he’s on a very favorable deal. With the Boston Celtics “not taking” but not planning to win too much next season, there’s a feeling that anyone is up for grabs.
And while giving up Rondo, the only remaining piece from the 2008 title-winning Celtics team, means that any thought of winning (winning more than 25 games that is) has been thrown out the window, the Celtics can’t help but consider offers for him. What is tanking, after all? It’s not about losing on purpose – it’s about giving up every valuable veteran piece you have in order to put yourself in a future position to add young pieces and prospects, hoping the dominoes fall in the right place = a high lottery draft pick on a good draft class, like the one in 2014, and having enough cap space to compete for the biggest free agents.
The Pistons, as Gary Washburn put it, are almost back. Not just the addition of Josh Smith, but the development of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, the improvement of Brandon Knight, the drafting of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and having Rodney Stuckey as an important secondary player. In the East, this kind of roster means playoffs.
But if they can do something better, why not? At the moment, the Pistons aren’t offering enough for Rondo; Brandon Knight, and one of the expiring contracts that belong to Charlie Vilanueva or Rodney Stuckey. The Celtics are already stuck with bad deals (Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries), and aren’t going to agree until they see Drummond or Monroe (who also becomes a free agent at the end of the season) showing up on the offer sheet.