Report: Mavericks trading for Rajon Rondo could happen ‘sooner rather than later’

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The Celtics are reportedly more willing to trade Rajon Rondo.

They’ve reportedly had substantive discussions with the Mavericks.

Boston general manager Danny Ainge confirmed trade talks.

Rondo is reportedly open to re-signing with Dallas.

This seems to be accelerating quickly. Just how quickly?

Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News:

The Dallas Mavericks’ pursuit of Boston’s Rajon Rondo has more traction beyond the stage of just testing the water or kicking the tires, a source said today.

the Mavericks are solidly in the mix and it appears this could happen sooner rather than later.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Rondo has repeatedly come up in trade rumors – he called it “a way of life” – without being dealt. But this time, the Celtics have a greater sense of urgency. Rondo will become a free agent after the season, and they risk losing him for nothing if they don’t trade him now.

Though the rebuilding Celtics are improving, they can’t offer Rondo the best team – or biggest market. Banking on Rondo’s loyalty to Boston might not be enough.

If they keep him past the trade deadline, the Celtics could offer Rondo the most money this summer, and that always helps. Rondo said he deserves a max contract, and he’s right. But I wonder how much of that is about respect rather than just dollars. If it’s the former, Boston’s advantage shrinks if other teams offer their (lower) max.

For the Mavericks, they’d prefer more time with Rondo to develop chemistry before the playoffs. Plus, Rondo would help them secure better postseason position in a packed Western Conference. Right now, Dallas is sixth, 1.5 games ahead of the seventh-place Spurs and 3.5 games behind the first-place Warriors.

Ainge is clearly trying to find the right moment to trade Rondo, or at least get the best Rondo offer on the table. The Celtics general manager could always pull back and try again to drum up interest before the trade deadline, but this latest round of discussion sure seems like it’s building toward something real.