Rumor has it that talks are swirling around about a possible Dwight for Rondo swap. This is absolutely shocking, considering these two are supposed to be the future of their respective franchises. It’s also shocking because Rondo is out till next season with a torn ACL, and because Mitch Kupchak assured Dwight that he won’t be getting traded before the deadline on Thursday. Before I go into breaking the trade down, let’s just establish that the player-for-player swap couldn’t go through because the contracts don’t work out. Rondo is due 11 million this year, and 36 million over the next three years. Dwight is due 19 million this season and then is free to explore the free agent market. With that in mind, additional pieces are going to have to be added from Boston’s side to get this done, which I don’t think really works out for Boston because… 1: There is a chance that Dwight won’t resign, and if he doesn’t the Celtics would’ve given away two players for free. 2: The Celtics don’t have many players they are willing to give up considering Paul and Garnett seem to want to “die green,” Jason Terry’s contract wouldn’t work out, Barbosa is injured, and Courtney Lee’s contract doesn’t work out so the only way to get the deal done would be a Brandon Bass and Rondo combination for Dwight.
The Lakers really have to consider two things before they engage in any trade talks involving Dwight. Number 1: Do you think your team has what it takes at the moment to make a push for the playoffs and do something once you get there? If you don’t then start prepping for next season, and if you think that means unloading Dwight for some depth and fixing their chemistry then do that. If you think that means re-signing him and working on this project for the future then do that. If you do think you have what it takes, then keep the roster the same, you can’t afford another change to an already shaky dynamic so close to the end of the season. Number 2: Is Dwight committed beyond this year? If he isn’t then unload him now and get something in return. Don’t be the Magic and wait so long, nip it in the bud and start fresh for the second half. Maybe, get some more depth for him or a new future franchise player. If he is committed, well, then you have a dilemma. Do you stick with him, and pray things work themselves out and subconsciously wait for Kobe and Nash’s retirement to the point where he will be the lone star? Or do you trade him nonetheless, or change up the roster to fit him because things have proved so toxic so far? It’s a puzzle, as dealing with Dwight has become recently in his career. Anyway, in this trade specifically I think to trade Dwight for Bass and Rondo would benefit the Lakers if i’m basing my thoughts off this season so far. Ridding yourself of Dwight and getting Rondo and Bass will get you off to a rocky start soon after the all-star break. Without Dwight and an injured Pau, they will most definitely fall down the standings in the West even more. Then by the time Pau comes back it will most likely be too late for them to get to the 8th seed, so in fact trading Dwight leaves L.A out of the playoffs. What’s interesting though, is that if they get a good draft pick they could be better off for next year. Think of a team where you have a Rondo/Nash backcourt, Kobe, MWP, Brandon Bass, Pau at his preferred position with more touches and a good draft pick. It’s an intriguing lineup isn’t it. However, even with that new hypothetical team they still lack tons of depth and have to figure out how to work a Nash/Rondo backcourt. Also, getting rid of Dwight still doesn’t rid the team of the tension between Pau and D’Antoni even though D’Antoni would be forced to start Pau.
On the Celtics end, it’s far less complicated, so don’t worry. Boston has only one thing to think about and that is if they can get Dwight to sign an extension. If he isn’t willing to, then the trade is a false hope. To give up their franchise guy for Dwight who will only play half a season for them doesn’t make sense. If he is willing to sign an extension with Boston then make the trade. They have proven they can play without Rondo, they are 8-1 without him and have gotten significant contributions from their other guards like Terry and Bradley. What they really lack is a true center and some rebounding. KG is a power forward, that is his true position and is more comfortable playing the 4. Boston are 29th in rebounding a game with 40, and 24th in opponents rebounding per game with 44. Getting Dwight would significantly improve their interior defense, gives them offensive and defensive rebounding and a low post presence. Bradley is becoming a reliable point guard and Dwight seems to give the Celtics what they lack most.