The long-running Rajon Rondo will-they-or-won’t-they trade drama has just about come to an end.
The Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks have reached an agreement to send Rondo to the Western Conference in exchange for three players and two picks, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein who broke the story:
Sources tell ESPN.com that the Celtics and the Mavericks have an agreement in principle to send the All-Star point guard to Dallas for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson and a future first- and second-round draft pick.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the deal, which means Celtics GM Danny Ainge has given up on getting a star in return for Rondo. The other thing that makes the deal work is that Rondo is likely to stay in Dallas beyond the end of this season when his contract is up.
Rajon Rondo and his reps made it clear to Dallas that the All-Star guard would be inclined to sign Mavs extension this summer, sources said.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 18, 2014
The trade has to be approved by the league to become official, that is expected later Thursday night.
Ainge is probably right to assume that he’s not going to get a better return for Rondo. He’s a four-time All-Star, but he hasn’t been the same player he was before suffering a torn ACL in 2013. This year, he’s leading the league in assists at 10.8 per game but shooting an atrocious 33.3 percent from the foul line and scoring just 8.3 points per game.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense for Rondo to be part of the Celtics’ long-term future, considering they drafted Marcus Smart sixth overall and re-signed Avery Bradley to a four-year deal. The point guard position is so deep around the league that it’s hard to put Rondo in the category of the NBA’s elite players at the position anymore. If there’s any time to trade him, it’s now.
As for Dallas, they just got a whole lot better — Rondo is a huge upgrade over Jameer Nelson and Devin Harris. He brings much better defense and a different level of ball handling and playmaking. The West is stacked but Dallas just became serious title contenders.