Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

NBA Trade Rumors: Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard Soon to Be Dealt?

Published on November 30, 2011 by Rob Kelley   ·   1 Comment

NBA trade rumors are heating up with the announcement that the NBA lockout has finally been lifted, and the three biggest names rumored to be on the verge of being dealt include Boston Celtics PG Rajon Rondo, New Orleans Hornets PG Chris Paul and Orlando Magic C Dwight Howard.

Two of them, in fact, could be traded for each other.

Normally, I would say that this is just a lot of speculation to generate buzz, but there just seems like too much behind these stories to have nothing to them.

Celtics GM Danny Ainge is reportedly intent on trading Rondo, but he would like to acquire Paul in return. Truthfully, that is the only scenario in which I see dealing Rondo making sense for Boston. After all, Rondo still has 4 years remaining worth $46 million, which is relatively inexpensive considering what Rondo brings to his team. He offers little in terms of shooting, but he is one of the better catalysts in the game today. When he was not on the floor for Boston last season, even with the talented big three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, nobody could create their own shot.

But Paul is a free agent after this season, and it has been speculated that he would love to join the New York Knicks once his deal in New Orleans expires. So Boston would have to convince Paul to sign an extension before they acquire him in order for this deal to make sense.

Could Paul and Howard change uniforms within the next couple of weeks?

The Celtics reportedly had tried to move Rondo after last season to Oklahoma City. Actually, they offered Rondo and Jeff Green to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins. Apparently, Ainge was admitting that he made a mistake in dealing Perkins for Green at last season’s deadline, and tried to make amends by getting him back and also acquiring Westbrook.

Either way, these rumors will not go away, and if Boston can convince Paul to give up on his New York dreams and agree to an extension, expect this deal to take place, because the Hornets do not want to let Paul walk after this season for nothing when they have the opportunity to add one of the top point guards in the NBA today.

Another elite player who can become a free agent after this season is Howard, but if the Magic do not feel that they have a great shot at re-signing him, they will certainly entertain accepting the best offer they receive. As of now, the New Jersey - soon to be Brooklyn - Nets are preparing an attractive package for Howard.

Sources are reporting that the Nets are prepared to offer Brook Lopez and two future first round draft picks for Howard, and would also most likely accept the contract of Hedo Turkoglu as well.

The Nets missed out on landing Carmelo Anthony last season after acquiring Deron Williams, and they desperately want to land another marquee name before they move to Brooklyn after this season. Landing Howard would more than make up for last season’s loss.

But expect many teams to enter the Howard sweepstakes, and he could remain in Orlando until the deadline. The Los Angeles Lakers are also very excited about the possibility of pairing Howard with Kobe Bryant, and they could offer some sort of combination of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom, but he Magic would prefer to get younger players, and Gasol and Odom don’t exactly fit that bill.

Aside from big names being rumored to be traded, other players who are currently free agents could help push some teams to the next level as well, including Nene, Tyson Chandler and Steve Nash. Teams can start officially announcing moves as soon as December 9th.


- Rob Kelley


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