The Boston Celtics and star point guard Rajon Rondo are destined for a divorce. Rondo has reportedly already filed for the divorce, asking the Celtics for a trade. He’s now waiting on the Celtics to sign off the divorce papers so the judge (commissioner Adam Silver) can sign off on it.
Yesterday, Rondo’s lawyer (his agent) denied that his client and the Celtics are no longer sleeping in the same bed. But the writing is on the wall that the divorce should happen sooner rather that later.
As in every divorce, there will be a lot that needs to be settled before it becomes finalized. In the Celtics case, they need to get a proper return for the point guard that was a major piece of the ___ championship team, along with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen.
For Rondo, he needs to guide the Celtics to a team that he would be willing to sign a long-term deal with.
Enter the Miami Heat?
Unfortunately for Heat fans, that is not likely to happen. Until December 15th, the Miami Heat will not have enough to offer up in a trade for the disgruntled point guard, as Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel pointed out yesterday:
OK, hopefully for the final time this offseason, let me again explain: Players signed in the offseason cannot be dealt before Dec. 15, with the exception of draft picks. So Chris Bosh, McRoberts, Chris Andersen, Udonis Haslem, Deng, Danny Granger, Dwyane Wade, Chalmers and others aren’t going anywhere before then. It’s why the Heat are extremely limited when it comes to trade chips beyond, perhaps, Norris Cole and Justin Hamilton, the only players who were under contract to the team at the start of the offseason. Don’t blame Riley; blame the collective-bargaining agreement. Besides, Minnesota got a heck of a package for Love in Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young, one the Heat were in no position to match, CBA restrictions of otherwise.
When it comes to trade possibilities with Chalmers and other Heat assets, see the above. But beyond whether the Celtics would be willing to wait until Dec. 15 (and they just might, since there would be so much more available to trade for), it’s not as if the Heat have many chips to put into play even then. Remember, the Heat’s 2015 first-round pick is headed to the 76ers provided it is not among the first 10. That would mean the Heat could not include a first-round pick in any deal that’s for earlier than 2017 (and even then there could be strings attached). And it’s not as if the Heat have the type of young prospects that intrigue, such as the Cavaliers had for the Love deal.
The Heat cannot offer much to the Celtics before December 15th, and even after then, the only assets the Heat have that they could offer would be Loul Deng and Josh McRoberts. That would be a tough selling point to get the Celtics to sign off on.
A larger issue in any trade talks would be that the Heat don’t have a first round pick to offer the Celtics next year. A first round pick is extremely valuable for a rebuilding team like the Celtics. The Heat lacking this is a major roadblock that is unlikely to be overcome.
However, the dreams of Rondo donning a Miami Heat jersey should not die there. As I pointed out two weeks ago, the Rondo-to-Miami scenario could still play out during free agency in 2015.
If the Heat were to add either Rondo or Bledsoe to the fold from the 2015 free agency class they would seem like a more of a hot spot destination for players like Kevin Durant or Dwight Howard in the 2016 free agency. Both are still young and to enter their primes, leaving open a great opportunity to form a super team that could actually be better than the Heat roster that made it to 4-straight NBA Finals.
A back-court of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo would probably be one of the most athletic in NBA history, but it would also be one of the worst shooting back-courts as well. However, the ability of the two to be play-makers, as well as the ability for their center to be able to shoot well from beyond the arc more than makes up for that deficiency.
While in the past Rondo has stated he would not want to play in Miami, the Los Angeles Lakers are a franchise that has expressed interest in trading for him. With the venomous history the Lakers and Celtics share, LA being in play should also open the door for Miami.
Adding Rondo to the mix for Miami would create a dynamic playmaker at the position the Heat haven’t had since Tim Hardaway. Rondo would also be an excellent mentor for the newly drafted Heat backup point guard, Shabazz Napier.
Mario Chalmers would not necessarily need to head elsewhere, as his ability to play off the ball could make him a viable backup to Wade at the two-guard, as well as playing point when needed.
Trading for Rondo is an extreme long-shot. A pipe dream or a pie in the sky scenario for the Miami Heat.
However, signing him next off-season remains a real possibility. One that I would fully endorse, as the Heat would add a star player they haven’t had at the position in a long-time.
To answer my own question in the title, yes the Miami Heat should pursue Rajon Rondo. But not in a trade. Just stick with the Riley plan and snag the star next offseason.
We’ll just have to wait for that divorce to finalize.