The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching, and if you believe the rumors, there could be an unprecedented number of stars relocating between now and March 15.
Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard have been mentioned as potential trade candidates since before the lockout-shortened season, and both could still find themselves pulling on a new jersey before season’s end.
But it’s a pair of point guards whose names re-emerged this week as teams prepare to jostle for playoff position or look toward the future.
During the preseason Chris Paul sweepstakes, the Boston Celtics were rumored to be shopping Rajon Rondo for a possible swap. Now ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting that Rondo is on the block once more.
Meantime, as the Orlando Magic continue to consider roster additions that might appease the disgruntled Howard, Golden State has come into focus as a possible trade partner. Citing league sources, ESPN reports the Magic have reached out to the Warriors about trading for Monta Ellis. But it sounds like the Warriors might only be willing to give up the league’s seventh-leading scorer for Howard himself.
Back in January, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge denied trying to deal Rondo, who is fresh off his third straight All-Star selection.
“There’s a big difference between trying to acquire a player and trying to trade a player,” Ainge told WEEI at the time.
But it’s no secret that Rondo and Celtics coach Doc Rivers have had their issues off the court, and as the team prepares for a necessary overhaul with the Big Three at the tail end of their careers, Boston must decide if Rondo is in the future plans.
Despite playing only 22 games in the first half of the season, Rondo is averaging a career-high 14.1 points per game, 9.6 assists and 1.6 steals. On Wednesday he recorded his third triple-double of the season in a win at Milwaukee.
The Warriors and Celtics reportedly discussed a Rondo for Stephen Curry swap in December, but now Golden State may have moved onto bigger things.
If the Magic are intent on keeping Howard, they may need to get another team involved in a trade to bring Ellis to Orlando. As of now, such a deal is a long way off.