Mission Impossible-ish: Trading For Rondo While Maintaining The Cap Room To Sign Dwight Howard

  • Jake O'Donnell

The Mavericks had a shitty year. The Celtics had a shitty week. Misery loves company. What say the two get together and work on a better tomorrow?

A number of rumors indicate that the only remaining star on the once dominant Celtics squad, Rajon Rondo, might be on the move. Why not? The ship is sinking and Rondo is a documented malcontent — it seems rather obvious that they’d jetison his contract for a complete rebuild. The Mavericks on the other hand, with an aging Dirk now being the second highest paid guy in the sport — not to mention the end of the Darren Collison PG era in Dallas — are looking to make a splash this offseason.

And it’s a great offseason to do it. The objective? Acquire Rajon Rondo, create room to sign Dwight Howard, sign Dwight Howard, beat the Heat again in the Finals. The only problem is, it’s gonna be super hard. Here’s what we know right now.

On the Celtics side, Rondo won’t move unless they can unload the rest of their dead weight, so to speak. So as long as they haven’t dumped the likes of Courtney Lee, Gerald Wallace, Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger, and/or Kris Kardashian, don’t expect Rondo to move.

The logic is if it doesn’t look like a complete and utter rebuild, the team will have to compete for a playoff spot. Gotta keep fans sort of happy, right? (Though the incentive to tank is there, and it’s real, and it’s named Andrew Wiggins.)

Also, if you were the Celtics, and you were trading a 27-year-old elite PG with the Mavericks, you’d be stupid not to hold out for Dirk. That’s a steep asking price, and a huge road block for this deal. Especially because he has a no trade claus. (Also, they can’t trade a future first round pick because they’re already on the hook for one from the Odom deal.) Looking unlikely, but nevertheless…

On the Mavs side, the deal is contingent on signing lady-of-the-hour-Dwight-Howard, and/or ditching the expiring contracts of Vince Carter and Shawn Marion. If they sign Howard, or Josh Smith, they won’t have room for Rondo unless they get rid of just about everyone else and vice versa (assuming they keep Dirk). Though, if we’re to believe that Rondo will be Howard bait, then the fat-trimming will need to begin, like, yesterday, because you can’t chase a max player like Dwight without the room. The numbers just won’t add up, and he’ll make into a goddamn spectacle because that’s just what Dwight does.

I’ll reiterate the problem: The Celtics want to dump salary with Rondo, and the Mavs want to clear salary and receive Rondo. Immovable object, meet unstoppable force.

Here’s the deal on the table (reportedly): Celtics receive 1st round draft pick Shane Larkin for Rondo.

Either way, Dwight Howard will have plenty of attention this offseason. Ugh, spare me.