There is a lot of smoke around the Chris Paul to the Celtics rumors, enough to make you think there is some fire. But that is a very, very different thing than saying this trade is going to happen.
More likely it is not.
Why? For one, take this tweet from Chris Broussard of ESPN.
Let all the CP3-to-Boston chatter cease. CP will not sign long-term ext with Celtics, according to source close to situation.
Paul controls his own destiny in the same way Carmelo Anthony did last year when he held the Nuggets hostage for a season — no team will trade for him if he will not sign an extension.
Which is why it is interesting that the Indiana Pacers are trying to get in on the talks as a facilitator. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo has the details.
The Pacers and Celtics have discussed the preliminary framework of a deal, but two sources said Indiana would need a third team to provide Boston with the talent it wants to do a deal. The Celtics are likely trying to gather the necessary pieces to make a bid for Ainge’s ultimate target: New Orleans point guard Chris Paul sources said.
Watch the Pacers — a team with a lot of cap room who is looking for pieces for the future — during the preseason and up to the trade deadline. They might be willing to be a facilitator of a deal for Paul or Dwight Howard if they get some good pieces to go with the bad contract they absorb.
One other note — ESPN reports that the Celtics almost shipped Rondo to the Oklahoma City Thunder last year.
After last season’s playoffs, the Celtics offered Rajon Rondo and Green to Oklahoma City for Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins, sources told Broussard. The Celtics, looking for another scorer who can create his own offense, thought Westbrook might be available after his erratic postseason play. But Oklahoma was not interested in the deal.