Rumors surrounding a trade offer involving Rajon Rondo that was “snubbed” by the New York Knicks have already been shot down today, but that’s not the end of the speculation surrounding the Celtics’ prized point guard.
Steve Bulpett of The Boston Heraldacknowledged in his column today that Rondo’s trade availability this summer could be very real.
What we’ve been hearing for a while and in more concerted tones here is that Rajon Rondo may be more available now than ever before.
Rondo is entering the final year of his contract with the Celtics and will earn $12.9 million dollars next season. The point guard has already acknowledged earlier this year that free agency intrigues him, which puts Danny Ainge in a tough position. The Celtics will risk losing him for nothing if the team lets him reach free agency next summer.
The perennial All-Star will also command a hefty raise in his upcoming contract, possibly at a salary that the Celtics' front office believes may be too much to commit to the team’s captain.
Both of these facts do not guarantee that Rondo will be traded this summer, but it makes sense that the Celtics would want to explore moving their most valuable trade chip as they rebuild their roster.
Rondo's trade value will be higher this summer than during the season itself, so if Boston elects to deal their point guard, trading him this summer will help the team maximize their return.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported earlier this month that it was likely the Houston Rockets would make a call about Rondo's availability this summer and that list should grow as more teams are eliminated from the postseason. Stay tuned.