Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Where Have I Heard This Before?

So Ric Bucher and a handful of the other NBA pundits decided to try and squash the dreams in my first blog, almost immediately coming out and talking about how the Hornets don't want Rondo and think they can do better. Last I checked, Rondo is a Top 5 PG in the league and I'm pretty sure D-Rose isn't going anywhere, same with Deron Williams, so I'd love to know what they're looking for. Immediately this spurred the 3-Team trade talk (Indiana apparently jumped right in...again, not sure how they help) and I'm still convinced only OKC can facilitate a 3-Teamer that makes sense. Personally I think the NOLA GM is posturing, hoping to drive up the price. In the end I think Boston has the chips, or at a minimum could pull another team in with the chips, to get the deal down. Too bad it seems like that's not the real issue here.

Early this morning Bucher tweeted that CP3 said he wouldn't sign an extension with Boston if he was traded there and that he thought the Clippers, among others, could offer better deals than the C's did. Again, I'm not concerned with anyone else's offer. I'm confident Danny can make this happen. But I did chuckle at all the noise Bucher's "CP3 won't sign in Boston" news riled up the Celtics faithful.

Having not lived in MA for 7 years now, I tend to forget how fast Boston fans go right into the tank at the mere hint of bad news (remember the 2 games the Pats lost in a row a few weeks back...distant memory) and sure enough, they were taking the Titanic right to the bottom of the ocean with this news. Apparently, four years created a lot of memory loss on Causeway St.

Doesn't anyone remember a certain fiery PF from the Timberwolves telling the Celtics to not even bother with trade talks, that he wasn't signing with Boston? KG, Kevin Garnett, The Big Ticket...any of those ring a bell? When Danny first tried to land #5, he said the same things CP3 is. Sure enough, Draft Day comes, Ray comes aboard and sure enough, there is KG standing there with Allen and Pierce smiling as visions of Banner 17 danced in all of our heads.

Don't think the same won't happen here. Dwight Howard mentions to Paul that he'd consider Boston if he went there and they could get 1 more season of the Big 3 (KG and Ray on minimum deals) next year...Danny pulls off the Tyson Chandler move, giving Chris the big man he needs to be successful...some move none of us have even thought about yet comes to fruition (I think Danny has a big one up his sleeve for Dec. 9, but we'll see) and all of a sudden, ditching #3 and chasing down #18 doesn't look so bad for Paul now, does it?

Agents and teams are talking, just teasing us all for next Friday when the real fun begins. I'm not giving up hope on Chris Paul in Celtics green yet!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rondo: Should he stay or should he go?

I thought hearing David Aldridge say that the Celtics were looking hard at Tyson Chandler would be the highlight of my pre-December 9th waiting for the NBA silly season to kick off...

Little did I know that a few hours of sleep would render that report from Aldridge meaningless in my "aspiring GM" thought process of the next 10 days. Danny Ainge had let it be known that he would be "open" to trading PG Rajon Rondo. Immediately, the first thought in my head was "CP3...Then Dwight...Then Banners 18, 19, 20 (before I started to sound like LeBron I stopped...3 would be plenty--to start!) raised to the rafters". Now as Jim Carrey once said, "fiction can be fun", so I wanted to take a step back and see if this all made sense before I got on and customized my Paul #13 (DJ's #3 is retired, RIP) jersey.

First off, does trading Rondo make sense? To me, absolutely. He's got a modest contract for an All-Star PG. 4 years and $46m left. Reasonable, especially for an NBA-owned NOLA franchise that needs to save money. Second, Rondo isn't a score first PG. He's done well when thrust into that role, but its not home for him. CP3 can easily take the scoring load off the Big 3 and at times will have to as they trudge through a sloppy, condensed season.  Third, CP3 will attract free agents, namely Dwight Howard. Boston on its own isn't going to attract them, cap space or not. It allows the Celtics to sidestep the 1993 disaster that was the end of the original Big 3 when the cupboard was left bare (both tragically and by not moving anyone before it was too late) and we had to suffer through years of agony before Danny got things right in 2007.

Sure, there are reasons not to explore the deal, namely Rondo's psyche if they don't move him. Look at what happened when Perk got dealt...or when President Obama questioned his jumper. The kid is fragile and this could slow him from the start in a season when all systems have to be go from the start. There's also the fear that Paul wouldn't sign an extension with Boston (I'd have to believe a deal wouldn't be consummated without that first). Furthermore, there is no guarantee that getting Chris Paul guarantees Dwight Howard. Now you're left with Paul, 1 year of Pierce and KG and Ray either off the books or back and really, really old. Not very attractive to future free agents. Sort of like the year Orlando missed out on Duncan and everyone else.

None of these reasons are enough to sway me at this point though. If Danny can make the deal, even if it takes a 3-team swap (NOLA is rumored to be scoffing at Rondo; my guess is to drive up the price) with OKC to send Westbrook to the Hornets and Rondo to Oklahoma, it has to happen. This, in fact, might make the most sense, as Westbrook needs a change of scenery after last year's playoffs and would still provide star power to New Orleans, while Rondo would be the PERFECT point-guard for KD as he dominates the league this year (the only guy balling consistently during the lockout...just watch).

With 10 days to go before free agency and Camps open up, we're sure to hear hundreds of rumors. Some will be outlandish, some impossible and some completely plausible. I know that I won't hear a better one than this though. Now I just have to wait and see if Danny can make it a reality.