The Celtics traded away their best player in Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks late Thursday for a large return which includes Jameer Nelson, Jae Crowder and Brandan Wright and two draft picks. This trade means the rebuild is officially underway.
I would argue that the Boston Celtics had a ‘one foot in one foot out’ mentality, since Garnett and Pierce left, trying to score players like Kevin Love or Roy Hibbert as recently as this season. This is a surrender. The white flag is being raised. This is Ainge making a move he had to make because the stars aren’t willingly coming here and resigning Rondo was a pipe dream that half of the fans weren’t okay with.
Rondo has been a lightning rod and, personally, I’m bummed they couldn’t resign him. But that being said, I wouldn’t have given him a max deal either, which means he was gone this Summer.
The trade deadline isn’t for another couple months, which makes some fans wonder why the deal got done now. Maybe Rondo plays better throughout the next two months and his value increases. The reason is because of the NBA CBA agreement, which states that if Ainge wants to flip the players he got in the deal, they need to be on the roster for 60 days.
Starting in 2015, the Boston Celtics are looking at a possibility of 4 first round draft picks with Dallas and Philadelphia’s picks being conditionally protected. They are likely to get the Mavericks pick, they have their and the Clippers pick is unprotected. If Philly’s pick is a lottery pick at 1-14 (which it probably will be) then Philly’s second round pick goes to the Celtics, giving them 3 second round picks in 2015.
The Celtics will get their pick as well as Brooklyn’s unprotected in the first round. They will also likely get Cleveland’s first round pick as it is protected for selection 1-10, but they have LeBron so they won’t be in the cellar of the league. They may also get Dallas’ pick in 2016 under the same stipulations as in 2015 because the Mavs pick is protected until 2020 for selections 1-7. In the second round, the Celtics will have their pick, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas unprotected. They also will likely get and extra Philadelphia’s pick because they probably won’t get Philly’s first round pick in 2015, which means that turns into two second round picks (one in 2015 and one in 2016).
They also have a few picks from 2017 to 2019 they have acquired from Brooklyn and Cleveland. The Celtics have all the draft picks available, will be able to flip the three players acquired from the Mavericks and he can trade any of his players.
The Rondo trade also puts the future at the point guard position into focus. The Celtics will now likely start Marcus Smart at point guard and have Jameer Nelson come off the bench. I like Nelson off the bench and I like the fact that Smart will have a golden opportunity to increase his workload, or possible trade value come February. No one on this team is untouchable.