The Boston Celtics were intrigued by the prospect of selecting Julius Randle with the sixth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft last June. The big man worked out for the team personnel in Waltham and was even invited back for a second workout, which he declined.
Ultimately, Danny Ainge selected point guard Marcus Smart with the team’s lottery selection, but it appears the Celtics were still after the Randle last week in the midst of shopping point guard Rajon Rondo.
Here’s the interesting tidbit from Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports
The Lakers and Celtics had mutual interest for a Rajon Rondo deal, but the Lakers weren’t willing to give up injured rookie Julius Randle, a source said.
As Spears mentioned, Randle is out for the season after breaking his leg in his NBA debut back in October. However, it was a savvy move by Ainge to try to pry away the big man and take advantage of the Lakers’ desire to pair up Rondo with Kobe Bryant.
Randle may be hurt, but he’s still a stud prospect. The former Kentucky star would have given the Celtics another significant asset to either trade or develop in the coming seasons if the Lakers were convinced to make the deal.
In the end, the Lakers held firm on keeping their seventh overall pick and reportedly only offered lackluster deals, such as an injured Steve Nash and a future first round pick.
It’s hard to imagine rivals like the Celtics and Lakers doing a trade involving a franchise star like Rondo, but it’s clear Ainge was willing to deal…if the price were right.