The trade deadline is not until February, but rumors continue to swirl around the Boston Celtics.
Earlier this week, there was an absurd story that the Celtics would send All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to the New York Knicks for A’mare Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, and Iman Shumpert. This trade would not even pass the league because the salaries don’t match. Rondo makes nearly $12 million. The contracts of the three Knicks players are double the amount that Rondo is making this season and next year.
This deal does not even make sense from a talent standpoint. Rondo is among the top players at his position and he is a walking triple-double when healthy. Granted, Rondo is currently rehabbing from right knee surgery last February, but he is only 27 years old and has just two years of his below-market contract.
Stoudemire is being paid $21 million and is averaging just 3.2 points per game this season while coming off the bench for the 3-8 Knicks. He is an over-the-hill veteran at 31 years old who would not serve a role on a rebuilding team until next season when he is an expiring contract.
Felton is 29 years old, but by the time that the Celtics are good again, Felton may lose his skills. He is a solid, yet unspectacular point guard in the mold of Devin Harris. They both can shoot, but neither are great individual defenders.
There are reports that Shumpert had secret knee surgery this past summer. Shumpert shredded his knee in his rookie year in 2011-’12. While Shumpert is a decent role player as a swingman, he will never reach superstar status.
Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge rightfully declined these rumors out of New York. You can count the amount of players that Ainge would trade for Rondo. None of those players come from New York. Ainge could turn around and trade someone like forwards Gerald Wallace or Kris Humphries to the Knicks. The Knicks do not have a first-round pick to trade until 2018 because league rules stipulate that teams cannot deal consecutive first-round selections so the Knicks don’t have much to give that would entice the Celtics to pull the trigger on a trade.
There are other reports on Bleacher Report that the Celtics are talking to the Knicks about sending Wallace and Humphries for Stoudemire. This makes more sense because Stoudemire’s contract ends in the summer of 2015 while Wallace’s contract expires in the following season. The Celtics do not expect to undergo a turnaround like the Boston Red Sox went through this season. While the injury-riddled Stoudemire may not have much left in his playing days, the Celtics are able to free up some money a year earlier. The Celtics will not have a logjam at the wing position with Jeff Green and Wallace.
This is water-cooler talk at the moment. The New York media will continue to throw out trade scenarios because the Knicks are in a stage of desperation. Their marquee player, Carmelo Anthony, is an impending free agent after this season. Like LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009-’10, the Knicks are trying anything in the hopes that Anthony will stay in New York because they realize they are not talented enough to compete for a championship. It also does not help that there is another team in New York (Brooklyn Nets) that the Knicks fight with for front-page headlines.