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It was a short and relatively uneventful stretch of games in the NBA this week, with a lot of teams trying to get their rhythm back coming off of the All-Star break.
The good news is that the ‘hot stove’ talk is starting to pick up, which is always fantastic. So just to keep things fresh and local, I’m going to throw out some potential Rajon Rondo destinations along with this week’s Power Rankings.
1) Miami Heat (28-8) – Not going to happen.
2) Oklahoma City Thunder (29-7) – I’ve always felt that there was some sort of potential for a Russell Westbrook-Rondo deal. It made more sense when Westbrook was actively taking shots away from Kevin Durant, but with how well the Thunder are playing right now there’s no chance this happens during the season. Westbrook has also surpassed Rondo’s talent level, so it would require more than just Rondo to get Westbrook in a Celtics uniform.
3) Chicago Bulls (30-8) – Not going to happen.
4) Los Angeles Clippers (21-13) – Not going to happen.
5) San Antonio Spurs (25-11) – Not going to happen.
7) Los Angeles Lakers (22-14) – That Rondo-Pau Gasol rumor won’t go away huh? I just don’t see it, but you never know.
8) Orlando Magic (23-14) – The Magic want to acquire someone to keep Dwight Howard happy. Would Rondo do that? Maybe. Unfortunately, the Magic really don’t have the kind of pieces the Celtics are looking for.
9) Philadelphia 76ers (22-15) – Not going to happen.
10) Dallas Mavericks (21-16) – Not going to happen.
11) Memphis Grizzlies (21-15) – Not going to happen.
12) Houston Rockets (21-16) – The Rockets were also very ‘in’ on Pau Gasol before the Chris Paul trade mess after the lockout ended, so I suppose there is some potential for a 3 team deal here.
13) Atlanta Hawks (21-15) – The Kevin Garnett-Josh Smith rumor popped up Friday afternoon, and when I saw it I couldn’t figure out why the Hawks would even consider that. I don’t know what the deal would look like, but the Celtics like Smith, and the Hawks could really use a point guard like Rondo, so there’s that. It would take a bit more from Atlanta to make it something Boston would seriously look at.
14) Portland Trailblazers (18-18) – Portland is another team that could really use Rondo, and they actually have some young talent the Celtics should be interested in. Keep an eye on the Blazers.
15) Denver Nuggets (20-17) – I’ll never rule out Denver in any trade scenario.
16) New York Knicks (18-18) – Not going to happen.
17) Boston Celtics (18-17) – There are a select few players I would actually trade Rondo for, and I also don’t understand why the Celtics keep dragging Rondo’s name in the mud. If they actually want to trade him, why are they telling everyone they want to trade him? I’ve seen this happen so many times in the NBA: If you shop a player too hard, that information eventually gets leaked to the media, and then when the media announces that player is on the block all you’re going to receive from that point on is lowball offers. I’m very interested to see how this whole thing plays out, but my gut tells me Rondo will be in Boston for the remainder of the season.
18) Minnesota Timberwolves (18-19) – Not going to happen. Wait a minute: David Kahn is still the GM? And a point guard is available? OK, it could happen.
19) Utah Jazz (17-18) – Maybe. Devin Harris has been a disappointment, and the Jazz have a few too many high-quality big men on their roster.
22) Golden State Warriors (14-19) – The Celtics have been interested in Monta Ellis before.
23) Cleveland Cavaliers (13-21) – Not going to happen.
24) Sacramento Kings (12-24) – This may be my favorite fit. Danny Ainge loved Tyreke Evans before the draft in 2009, and he almost traded Rondo to Sacramento for the #4 pick in the draft that year for the purpose of drafting Evans. And the Kings desperately need the kind of leadership and basketball IQ a player like Rondo could provide. There’s a deal to be made here that would benefit both teams.
25) New Jersey Nets (11-26) – Unless the Celtics want to take a shot at convincing Deron Williams to reign in Boston, I don’t see it.
26) Detroit Pistons (12-25) – I’m sure the Celtics would love Greg Monroe, but I have to believe he’s just about untouchable at this point.
27) Toronto Raptors (11-25) – Not going to happen.
28) New Orleans Hornets (9-27) – If Eric Gordon was healthy and producing, maybe.
29) Washington Wizards (7-28) – Not going to happen.
30) Charlotte Bobcats (4-30) – Not going to happen.