Sorry Bobby Valentine. Not to steal your shine this morning, but serious rumors are surfacing that Rajon Rondo is on his way out of town in exchange for Hornets point guard Chris Paul. On paper, this trade makes sense. Paul can score and has an outside jumper. Rondo does not. Paul is regarded as the leagues best point guard by many. Rondo is not. The main objective Ainge is trying to accomplish in this trade is to acquire a guard that can shoot, score, and pass. Just this morning, reports came out that Ainge wanted a scoring point guard so badly that he offered Rondo and Jeff Green to the Thunder for Perkins and Russel Westbrook at the end of last year. Ok maybe it’s a combo of wanting a scoring point guard and feelings of regret for blowing up the team last year. But if this trade really does go through and Rondo is playing in the color teal next year, Danny has to be certain on a couple of things:
I’m hearing that the main reason for trading for Paul is to lure the coveted free agent Dwight Howard to Boston the following season. But as of today, that plan might be squashed. Reports that the Nets are making a hard push at Howard will certainly ruin the future plan for Ainge, but in reality when was the last time the Nets landed a big time player? Jason Kidd?
Broken between the ears:
Chris Paul is a great player, but he isn’t known for being mentally tough. An example of this was when the Hornets came to Boston last year in an early regular season match up. The Celtics were started to blow out the Hornets in the second half and Paul clearly gave in. Nearly every offensive trip the Hornets had that half, Paul would come down the court and throw up a selfish shot or pass it down low and start jogging back on defense. Celtics commentator Mike Gorman even stated that “there is something about Paul that is just off”. And there was. I’m not saying Rondo gets an A in conduct, but he was proven over the years that he is mentally tough….on the court that is. Playing in Boston isn’t easy and every mistake and flaw you have will be analyzed to exhaustion. And Paul might not be able to handle that after playing in New Orleans. Rondo is a hardened tough player, and replacing that might be impossible.
Rondo has been a monster in the playoffs almost every year as a Celtic. Most noteworthy, the 2009 playoffs when he nearly averaged a triple double against the Bulls. Oh, and don’t forget when he came back against the Heat when his elbow bent in half, while making big plays down the stretch. Paul on the other hand, has never made it past the first round. Trading regular season scoring stats for a proven playoff juggernaut makes you re-think this entire deal.