NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Rajon Rondo, Klay Thompson and David Lee

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2014

Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo is seen before an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, April 14, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Michael Perez/Associated Press

Even though the NBA trade market is inactive for the time being, some issues continue to linger.

Almost every team has finalized its major business until the regular season begins. The marquee free agents have found homes while the most likely trade targets have been moved. As a result, the rumor mill is quieting down quite a bit.

The league is never completely silent, though.

Below are two of the more recent rumors making their rounds.


Rajon Rondo

Although the Boston Celtics are in the middle of a rebuild, they apparently have no intentions of dealing Rajon Rondo, per Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe:

While the Celtics are trying to figure out ways to clear roster space before training camp, moving Rondo is not a high priority. First off, Rondo will be a free agent next summer and fully intends on taking the LeBron James-Carmelo Anthony tour of teams and extending the negotiation process deep into next summer. It is highly unlikely Rondo would sign an extension this season with an interested team, especially the Sacramento Kings. Second, the Celtics don't feel pressed to deal Rondo because they are still trying to determine if he's part of the future and they are intrigued to see him in action a full 18 months following ACL surgery.

You can see why the Celtics would want to hold onto Rondo. At his peak, he's one of the best point guards in the NBA.

With that said, something has to give in Boston's backcourt. The team drafted Marcus Smart with the sixth overall pick and signed Avery Bradley to a four-year extension worth around $32 million.

Keeping Rondo beyond the 2014-15 season would tie up a lot of money at the guard positions, not to mention possibly stunt Smart's development.

There's also the chance that Rondo decides to sign with somebody else next summer when he's an unrestricted free agent.

In July, he reaffirmed his commitment to the franchise, per's A. Sherrod Blakely:

I don't like change, really. I'm pretty comfortable. I have a beautiful home here, I love it. I don't want to leave. I'm a Celtic.

If Washburn is right about Rondo wanting to do the whole summer sweepstakes thing, though, the chances of the Celtics re-signing him drop slightly. He could still stay in Boston, but who knows how things will look a year from now? How many people expected LeBron James to stay in Miami?

The Celtics might be better off seeing what they can get for the four-time All-Star now.


Klay Thompson and David Lee

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

While the Kevin Love deal is officially done, the collateral damage from the constant barrage of rumors is still being felt. Klay Thompson and David Lee were among those bounced around as possible trade chips for the three-time All-Star.

Although the two are staying put with the Golden State Warriors, the ill will they feel toward the organization apparently lingers.

Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher wrote last Thursday about how Thompson has done everything the team has asked him to do on the court, but the team still weighed a Love trade:

Thompson handled all of that without complaint. The reward? A summer wondering if he would be dealt to the league's moribund Minnesota outpost.

The Warriors not only dangled both him and Lee in talks with the Timberwolves, league and team sources say, but they apparently initiated the conversation. Various reports on the deal's likelihood of going down bubbled for several weeks, and while GM Bob Myers declined to address the subject directly, he certainly didn't discourage the notion that Thompson and Lee were available for the right price. ...

Myers' attempt to be as honest as possible is appreciated, but it has come with a price. While attempts to reach Lee or his representatives were unsuccessful, a source close to Thompson said the shooting guard is "pissed" that the Warriors legitimately considered moving him.

Some fans will simply argue that Thompson and Lee should put all of this in the past and do the job they're paid to do. However, it doesn't matter how much money you make; it's always hard to see your employer consider you expendable, as it appears Golden State felt for at least a short period of time about the duo.

It would be one thing if the Warriors were asked about the availability of Lee and Thompson and rebuffed any advances; it's something else entirely to go to the Minnesota Timberwolves and present Lee and Thompson as makeweights for a Love deal and then backtrack.

Once you take that step, you better finish the deal. Otherwise, you end up with disgruntled stars.

Over time, this issue will likely blow over. It will be interesting to watch how this affects Thompson's impending free agency, though. Although the Warriors still have a measure of control since he's a restricted free agent, his price tag might have gone up a few million for his troubles.