Rajon Rondo is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, but apparently that won’t stop the Celtics from moving their point guard — if they can somehow find a deal they like. That probably won’t be easy, but ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports (via Twitter) that the Celtics would trade their injured point guard if they were able to find the “right trade.” What exactly that means at this point is still unknown. Celtics president Danny Ainge has said that the club probably won’t make any big deals before the deadline, but Boston keeps popping up in reported trade discussions, reportedly involving players like Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Perhaps the Celtics would look to move Rondo as part of a huge, franchise-altering overhaul.
The Kings have traded forwards Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt and a second-round pick to the Rockets for center Cole Aldrich, guard Toney Douglas, forward Patrick Patterson and $1 million, according to reports from Yahoo! Sports, USA Today Sports and NBA.com. The three-team deal also involved the Rockets sending forward Marcus Morris to the Suns for a 2013 second-round pick, according to NBA.com. The Rockets and Suns were able to absorb more salary than they sent out without matching because both teams are under the salary cap.
The Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets have discussed a trade for Celtics star Paul Pierce, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Nets’ willingness to a deal centered on forward Kris Humphries, guard MarShon Brooks and a first-round draft pick, but the Celtics want a more substantial package to consider moving Pierce, league sources said.
“The Celtics still highly value Pierce and it wouldn’t make sense to trade him for that kind of a package if they’re keeping Kevin Garnett,” one league source said.
After eight-plus seasons, almost All-Star forward Josh Smith and the Atlanta Hawks have decided it’s time for a change.
So the Hawks are trying to trade Smith before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, and like that awkward Facebook friend page you come across, it’s complicated.
Several teams have expressed varying degrees of interest in Smith – from the Los Angeles Clippers to the San Antonio Spurs to the Washington Wizards to the Phoenix Suns to Brooklyn Nets to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Teams all have the same questions about Smith.
Rival GMs insist Rondo’s available. Could they pry Josh away from ATL w/out giving up Pierce or KG? Jeff Green would be good fit in ATL
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 20, 2013
Kupchak said that, for the record, Dwight Howard won’t be traded.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 20, 2013
The Raptors would move Andrea Bargnani in the right deal, but teams do not detect urgency on Toronto’s part.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 19, 2013
In trying to move J Smith, ATL called LAC and asked about Bledsoe. Short conversation. Clips not really interested in trading for Smith.
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 19, 2013
The usual trade deadline frenzy might yet be upon us before 3 p.m. ET Thursday. But for now, team executives believe the new trade and financial rules have had a chilling effect on the discussions.
Teams have become hypersensitive to the enhanced luxury-tax penalties and looming repeater tax, so the days of easily dumping long-term salary in exchange for a draft pick are effectively over. Plenty of teams are seeking draft picks and young talent, but those teams possessing such prized commodities aren’t willing to easily give them up.
Teams that have used their full mid-level exception this season (Boston) or bi-annual exception (Chicago) are hard-capped at $74 million. Without a third team to absorb salary, it’s going to be challenging for such teams to pull off a blockbuster trade. A team like Brooklyn is allowed to exceed the $74 million hard cap because it has not used one of those exceptions, so the Nets have more room to maneuver.
The only area of increased urgency to complete trades by Thursday’s deadline as opposed to this summer would be deals involving prospective free agents. With players like Al Jefferson and Josh Smith, Utah and Atlanta, respectively, might want to consider moving them now because there will be far fewer potential trade partners in July. Why? Starting this summer, teams whose post-trade payrolls exceed the luxury-tax line by more than $4 million will not be permitted to acquire a player in a sign-and-trade. So if the Nets want Dwight Howard, for example, it would be much easier to acquire him now.