Irish Coffee: Rajon Rondo rumors, fact and fiction
|11.30.11 at 9:14 am ET|
FACT: The Celtics are discussing Rajon Rondo in a trade for Hornets point guard Chris Paul.
When rumors started flying that team president Danny Ainge has included Rondo in trade discussions, there was always only one player who could possibly be on the other end of that conversation: Chris Paul.
With nobody to take over the reins in Rondo’s absence, the Celtics would have to land another point guard in return for the two-time All-Star. And considering the attractiveness of Rondo’s contract (4 years, $44 million remaining), that floor general would have to be decidedly better than Rajon Rondo.
In my mind, that list includes two names: Derrick Rose and Paul. There is no way in hell the Bulls are trading the reigning NBA MVP, so that leaves Paul, whose impending free agency puts him on the bargaining table.
Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick confirmed that notion on Tuesday, citing numerous sources in claiming Ainge “is highly motivated” to land the 2005-06 NBA Rookie of the Year. Colleague Paul Flannery explained why the exchange makes painstaking sense but may require a third team to get done. And Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported the C’s have made calls to the Pacers for just that reason.
The 26-year-old Paul has averaged 18.7 points (47.1 FG%, 35.9 3P%, 85.3 FT%), 9.9 assists and 2.4 steals in six NBA seasons, decidedly better numbers than the 25-year-old Rondo (10.7 points, 48.6 FG%, 24.2 3P%, 62.2 FT%, 7.6 assists, 1.9 steals) on a decidedly worse team.
While Rondo is one of the five best point guards in the NBA, Paul is one of the five best players in the league. That’s why Ainge is exploring the trade. And if it falls through, as ESPN.com’s Ric Bucher suggested it would, there’s nobody more stubborn than Rondo to prove Ainge, me and everybody else wrong.
FICTION: The Celtics offered Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green in a trade for Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and center Kendrick Perkins.
This would be a fun rumor, if it were at all possible. Green was a free agent from the end of the playoffs until hours before the NBA lockout, when the Celtics extended a $5.9 million qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent. Under neither circumstance could the C’s trade Green.
Could I envision a scenario in which Ainge jokingly suggested a hypothetical do-over on the Green-Kendrick Perkins trade to Thunder general manager Sam Presti (a Concord native)? Absolutely. Do I believe this offer was ever seriously on the table? Absolutely not.
This rumor is as laughable as Glen Davis picking up knitting during the lockout.
(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’s Irish Coffee? Send a message to @brohrbach on Twitter.)