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The Boston Celtics have been in the midst of trade talks since the end of the 2013-14 NBA season. The C’s have been mentioned in a wide range of rumors from acquiring Minnesota’s Kevin Love to trading Rajon Rondo. Through the whirlwind of these rumors, the Celts have remained rather quiet, however.
The C’s were involved in a three-way trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Brooklyn Nets, which landed Boston the services of Marcus Thornton and Tyler Zeller along with a future first-round draft pick. The C’s only surrendered a trade exception and a protected second-round pick in the deal. The Celts were also involved in a sign-and-trade deal with the Washington Wizards, dealing Kris Humphries for a conditional second-rounder and a trade exception.
As it stands now, the Celts have not made a big splash this off season. The lack of a big move is leaving some Boston fans befuddled by the direction the organization is going in with its rebuilding process. The splash the Celtics must make is acquiring an all-star player like Love, which will get them back in contention quickly, or trading their best player in Rondo, with the plan of a longer rebuilding process instead.
The C’s are now a long shot to land Love, as the Cavaliers have reportedly made first overall Draft pick Andrew Wiggins available for a trade. Also, teams like the Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors are better trade suitors in the minds of the Timberwolves. Love is the only potential trade target this year that could make the C’s a contender immediately. What the Celtics should focus on instead is trading Rondo.
Rondo will become a free agent at the end of the 2014-15 season. As the team is constructed now, there is not much of a sales pitch the C’s can give to convince Rondo to stay, outside of offering him a max contract. If the C’s do not decide to trade Rondo before the end of the upcoming season, they may end up without their most talented player and nothing to show for it. Rondo has been upset with the C’s on many occasions, as he has been involved in trade talks for several years now. If the Celtics decide to trade Rondo before next year’s free agency period, two possible landing spots would be the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons.
Indiana trade: The C’s should offer Rondo for big man Roy Hibbert. The Pacers have been reportedly shopping Hibbert around, and with the loss of Lance Stephenson, a playmaker at the guard position is something Indiana desperately needs. In Hibbert, Boston would be getting an All-Star center and a defensive stopper in return. Hibbert struggled in the second half of last year and in the playoffs, but a change of scenery could be just what the doctor ordered for him.
Detroit trade: The Celts should trade Rondo for either Greg Monroe or Andre Drummond. Monroe and Drummond are two young and talented big men. Monroe would have to be in a sign-and-trade, as he is currently a free agent, which would mean a larger deal with more parts involved. If the Pistons decide to hold on to Josh Smith, that would be another strong reason for both teams to consider a transaction. Smith is one of Rondo’s best friends, and he also had a problem fitting his game in on the front line with Monroe and Drummond on the floor with him.
In short, if the C’s pull off a deal for Rondo, they should look to acquire a big man in any trade scenario. The Celts just used the sixth pick in this year’s draft on point guard Marcus Smart, and now have an overload of players at the two guard positions.