Earlier this week, Frank Isola of the Daily News reported that the Knicks are going after Celtics assist lord Rajon Rondo. While the reports sound very convincing, we can only have wet dreams about this trade, because let’s face it: The trade is not going to happen.
Realistically, the Knicks have squat to trade away for Rondo, with Iman Shumpert being the key piece in the trade offer itself. Shump is being posted as trade bait yet another time. Last year, he was thrown around in rumors for Jared Dudley and J.J Redick, but neither deal came to fruition. Just recently, he was also mentioned in two other trade rumors, centering around Greivis Vasquez of the Sacramento Kings and Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets, but they were erased into obscurity soon after being brought up. There were also reports that swirled around yesterday from the Daily News that Shump had a secret knee surgery last summer, much similar to the one that J.R Smith had around the same time. Bearing the taciturn knee surgery in mind, Shump’s trade value has now plummeted, so trading away an injury prone player (you could say Shump is at this point after that surgery) in return for Rondo, that was injured last year sounds like something the Knicks would totally do.
The words “asset” and “youth” are incognizant to the Knicks front office. They believe that there is nothing to trade away besides gargantuan contracts and what little youth they have? Amare Stoudemire has a massive contract and has been shopped repeatedly on the market. Shockingly, no takers! Danny Ainge and the Celtics front office said they would consider taking his hefty contract (I don’t know why) only under one condition: The Knicks would have to take back Gerald Wallace and Courtney Lee in return (ah, I see why now).
Both Wallace and Lee wouldn’t be bad additions to the Knicks. Crash can still play decent defense, and Lee is a personal favorite of mine because of his three point shooting stroke. However, they have bad contracts. They combine for nearly 50 million dollars and run through 2016, a year longer than Stoudemire. Obviously this would cut into the Knicks 2015 cap space that will be used to chase free agents. Also, Metta World Peace and Wallace are relatively similar players and Lee would also add yet another shooting guard to the depth chart. The move doesn’t really make sense.
Instead of making a desperation trade, the Knicks could just wait until Stoudemire’s contract is off the books, along with Tyson Chandler’s deal, and chase an upper echelon free agent in 2015, i.e. Kevin Love. The logical thing to do is to wait it out, but this is the Knicks we’re talking about. It’s likely they’ll make a trade just to make one, thus solidifying – in their mind – good standing with Carmelo Anthony. However, the piece that comes back in a deal likely won’t be Rondo. The Knicks don’t have the pieces and the Celtics aren’t going to just trade him away. Ultimately, there isn’t an obvious trade to be made. That should worry Knicks fans, as they’ll likely sell their only young asset for pennies on the dollar.