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Rondo, Allen to Detroit?

The NBA Draft may be just two days away but the rumor mill is afire with trade talk, most notably a trade involving the 2008 World Champion Boston Celtics. Over the past few weeks we’ve heard Rajon Rondo’s name floated around with Phoenix as a possible destination. The newest rumor circulating from a ‘low level official’ is the Celtics send Rondo and Ray Allen to the Pistons for Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Sssssssssssstuckey.

Before getting to the thoughts of GM Danny Ainge, here’s the lowdown on how the trade plays out:

Celtics Get:

  • Rip Hamilton: The 31-year-old guard had an off season in 2008-09 and he was used off the bench for stretches during the season, averaging just more than 18 points a game. He’s a local guy (UConn grad) and is one of the best pure shooters in the NBA. Hamilton is under contract until 2012 for just more than $11 million a year.

  • Tayshaun Prince: A good defender and strong shooter, Prince, 29, averaged 14 points and six rebounds last season. He’s not a superstar but can hit the three and drive the lane with the right teammates around him. A consummate role player. His contract runs through 2011 and averages just more than $10 million per year.
  • Rodney Stuckey: The potential replacement for Rondo in the deal. Stuckey is a 23-year-old play-maker point guard who averaged 13.4 points and 4.9 assists per game last season. Not only does Stuckey look exactly like 50 cent, but has a team friendly contract which would cost the Celtics just $1.8 million next year and a $2.7 million team option for 2010-2011.

Pistons Get:

  • Rajon Rondo: At just 24 years of age, Rondo is already one of the best point guards in the NBA. He rebounds better than most players his size and has a ridiculous assist to turnover ratio. Though this blogger feels he’s a liability with the game on the line in crunch time, he has the skills to carry a team deep into the playoffs. Once his jump shot improves there will be no stopping him. Rondo has an expiring deal after next year worth just $3.8 million.

  • Ray Allen: There isn’t much to say about Ray Allen except that anyone would love to have him on their team. He’s as good a shooter as there has ever been in NBA history and as we saw against the Bulls in the playoffs, he has no problem shooting the ball with the game on the line. Though he’ll soon be 34 and has had surgery in the recent past, he’s still an asset to any team in the NBA. He also has an expiring contract, worth $20 million this season.

My Take

Now on to the likelihood of the trade. Simply put, it’s not very likely. Here’s what Ainge said today about the report:

“We love Rajon and I’m not going to comment on which rumors are true or not true,” said Ainge, the Celtics’ president of basketball operations. “We love this kid and I don’t anticipate trading anyone from our core.”

A rather diplomatic answer to be sure. This trade makes a heck of a lot of sense for the Pistons – who are at the beginning of a possible rebuild and looking to clear cap space for next summer’s free agent frenzy – as they receive a young point guard who they can sign to a big deal along with signing a guy like Chris Bosh in the summer of 2010. They get rid of two long term contracts and acquire an expiring one in Ray Allen. This trade would keep them competitive and keep Detroit as a likable destination for free agents.

For the Celtics this deal keeps them as one of the top two or three teams in the NBA. Stuckey isn’t Rajon Rondo just yet but is a good young point guard. In Prince and Hamilton you get two reliable veterans and solidify the sixth man position. The Celtics would enter the season with easily the best six man rotation in the NBA: Stuckey, Rip, Pierce, Garnett and Perkins starting with Prince off the bench.

What I don’t like about this deal are the contracts. The beauty of the big 3 was Allen, Pierce and Garnett have contracts that expire in three separate years, allowing the Celtics to make easier decisions every off season. The good thing about the deal is that the starting six would all be locked up for the next two seasons, but you are also stuck with quite a few aging players two and three years down the road. The money would be a wash, as Rip/Prince/Stuckey make about the same as Allen/Rondo. The report from Yahoo Sports says the Pistons rejected this deal, which doesn’t make sense to me. Either way, it would be quite a risk to break up the core of the Big 3 at this point. Then again, we all thought it was crazy when the Celtics traded a top 10 pick for the aging Ray Allen.

Either way, it’s inspiring to see the Celts are still concentrated on winning now, with or without one of their young stars.

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4 comments for “Rondo, Allen to Detroit?”

  1. […] Rondo, Allen to Detroit? […]

    Posted by Why are the Celtics Itching to Trade Rondo? | Sports of Boston | June 23, 2009, 4:28 pm
  2. You said it yourself, “one of the best point guards in the NBA.” I rate Hamilton and Prince pretty highly, but I hate the thought of Rondo hitting his full potential in somebody else’s uniform.

    Posted by jon | June 23, 2009, 5:22 pm
  3. Why is everyone so certain that Ray Allen is leaving after this season? Has he said so? Am I missing something here?

    As for trading Rondo, I can’t even believe it’s being considered. I hope Ainge isn’t lying about this when he denies the rumors. Why would you trade a proven, young point guard who will be among the league’s elite if he can keep improving his jump shot, for an untried rookie or a second level (at best) replacement point guard? Is Rondo that big an ass in the locker room? Please tell me it’s all just a lot of off season rumor peddling.

    Posted by Ken | June 24, 2009, 7:43 am
  4. Well Ken, think about it. After this season Ray will be 35 years old. For one he is not going to take the veteran minimum to play, so it’d cost a pretty penny. Secondly, his play will decrease and after next year, what will he have left? 2 years TOPS?

    It just doesn’t make sense to keep a 35 year old shooter on the team, to be honest.

    Posted by Matt | June 24, 2009, 12:20 pm

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