Update: Sam Amick of USA Today:
The Lakers inquired about a deal Thursday that would send forward Jordan Hill and a first-round pick to the Celtics for Rondo and forward Jeff Green, but the Celtics declined that offer, a person familiar with the details told USA TODAY Sports.
I’m assuming that proposal also would have included Steve Nash to make salaries match, but that’s only the beginning of the problems with this offer.
The Lakers can’t trade Hill until Jan. 15 — and not without his consent. I’m not sure why he’d approve a trade to Boston and forfeit his Bird rights in the process.
Plus, Green going back to the Lakers makes this totally unappealing to Boston. I doubt the Celtics would even do the deal without Green included. Hill and a single first rounder for Rondo just isn’t enough, and it’s definitely not worth waiting until January if the Mavericks have a good offer on the table now.
Maybe Rajon Rondo and Kobe Bryant breakfasting together meant something after all?
The Lakers, who are reportedly interested in signing Rondo this summer, have tried to to pry loose the Celtics point guard sooner.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
Obviously, it all depends on the picks. Because they owe the Suns (and Magic) a first rounder, even though they have an incoming first rounder from the Rockets, the Lakers are very limited in what first-round picks they can trade. They could include just one unprotected first rounder in a Rondo trade – their own in 2020 or 2021.
They could also add a first with complex reverse protections based on when they receive Houston’s pick and send picks to Phoenix and Orlando. That protected pick would have high upside but the potential never to be conveyed (or it could turn into a second rounder if not conveyed by a certain year).
There’s at least potential for the Lakers to make an intriguing offer.
Steve Nash’s expiring contract just gives the Celtics a clean break. He’s out for the year, and his career is probably over. He’s included in this deal only to make salaries match.
My Rondo-to-Mavericks trade idea – Brandan Wright, Raymond Felton and picks for Rondo – includes Boston taking Felton’s unappealing contract. Felton has a player option for 2015-16, which gives him negative value to the Celtics, but his salary is necessary to make the trade work. Nash wouldn’t have that drawback.
They key question on the Lakers’ end is whether they’d re-sign Rondo. Their experience with Dwight Howard should at least force them to consider the possibility Rondo would bolt this summer. Maybe Kobe, after speaking with Rondo, could provide some insight on that front.
If the Lakers want to make this happen – and I sort of suspect they just made a token effort and would prefer to target Rondo in free agency – they better hurry. The Mavericks just followed Rondo on Twitter (hat tip: Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders).