For the past week or so, 95% of the Celtics rumors were centered around two all-star point guards: Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul. Well tonight, all of that speculation has come to an end. As reported by multiple sources, the Hornets, Lakers and Rockets have agreed upon a three-way trade that will send Chris Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Rockets and Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and picks to the Hornets.
Not only did the Lakers just get arguably the best point guard in the league, but still have a big trade chip in Andrew Bynum that could potentially be flipped into Dwight Howard. If the Lakers were to put together a big three of Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, I think it’s totally possible that they could pass the Celtics in all-time championships. But I digress.
Personally, I was reserved to the fact that the Celtics were going to do whatever they had to in order to acquire Chris Paul. Even before the reports came out that Ainge would pull the trigger without a contract extension with CP3 was out and circulating, I was saying that should be the course of action.
We could have dealt Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and picks and then make a last run with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen at a championship this year. Assuming we made it to at least the conference finals, the future could have gone two ways: convinced Chris Paul to re-sign and be the cornerstone of this franchise or he ends up leaving and we rebuild with tons of cap space.
Even without Chris Paul, I think the latter still needs to happen.
The Big Three is over the hill and I have my doubts that this team’s core, as currently constructed, can win a title. Even more disturbing is the mental makeup of Rajon Rondo. He hasn’t been known as the best locker room guy and everyone has questioned what he would be like when the Big Three was gone. Now that his name has been dangled in repeated trade discussions, I believe he may be a huge distraction and his game will show it.
If I am Danny Ainge, I attempt to move Rajon Rondo for a young point guard that has a lot of potential as well as some expiring contracts. With the acquired expiring contracts as well as Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen’s contracts coming off the books, they could make a serious run at two big name free agents next season.
Nobody likes to rebuild, but even worse than rebuilding is making the playoffs with no chance to actually compete for a championship. If it takes having one really bad season for us to acquire two high draft picks (our own plus the Clippers’ top-10 protected pick) along with the young point guard we dealt with and our two big name free agents, wouldn’t it be worth it?
Dealing Rajon Rondo is always a polarizing topic around Boston and with Celtic fans. What do you guys think?