Wolstat weighing in.... believes we're looking at Rondo.
WASHINGTON - Ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, the Raptors have been involved in talks with multiple teams that would change the team’s point guard situation significantly.
With the New York Knicks continuing to aggressively pursue Kyle Lowry, who has turned in a career season, Toronto has explored complicated deals that would bring back a replacement for the soon-to-be free agent.
It’s no secret Boston has dangled four-time all-star Rajon Rondo league-wide and while the asking price is steep, he has piqued the interest of Toronto’s front office, according to multiple sources. Toronto is eager to up its “star” quotient and is also enamoured with Rondo’s resume, particularly his four all-defensive team selections (two all-NBA first team). He has many backers in the organization.
However, Rondo tore his ACL just over a year ago, has only played in 10 contests this season and will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015 after earning $12.9 million next year.
Despite all that, Rondo would not come cheaply. Bull.com’s Sam Smith said the price is believed to be “two unprotected first rounders” while one source told the Sun the ask is a combination of at least one lottery pick and talented young player.
Boston is currently in the midst of a rebuild after dealing away Rondo’s Big Three cohorts Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in the off-season (Ray Allen departed for Miami a year earlier).
That’s where dealing Lowry would come in. Knicks owner James Dolan reportedly nixed a deal earlier in the season and Lowry responded by playing the best basketball of his career. He’s sixth in the league in three-pointers made, eighth in assists per game and sixth in win shares. With the future of star forward Carmelo Anthony uncertain, Dolan apparently has reconsidered as New York looks to improve its roster.
ESPN New York reported Monday that the Knicks have been reluctant to surrender either promising rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. or a future first-round pick. Either would be needed in a package for Rondo.
Sources confirmed that Atlanta is also aggressively shopping young point guard Jeff Teague, despite matching Milwaukee’s four-year, $32-million offer sheet to Teague last summer. Teague, who had a tremendous start to the season, has struggled mightily since the Hawks lost all-star big man Al Horford to injury. Teague could be a cheaper, fallback option in either Toronto or New York, should those team’s preferred choices fall through.
Lowry will be a free agent this summer and though he and head coach Dwane Casey have mended fences somewhat as the team surged to the top of the Atlantic Division, they are not close and there remain some doubts within the organization whether they would be a viable pair long-term. Casey’s contract is also up at the end of the season, but Toronto’s play will surely earn Casey some coach of the year votes.
Lowry said Monday he remains unfazed by any rumours.
“No, nothing at all (has changed),” Lowry told the Sun.
“It’s just ‘cause it’s closer to that time of the year. For me personally, I’m not worrying about anything, I’m just going to keep doing my job. I’ve got two games, and then the deadline.
“It hasn’t distracted me before, so it’s not going to distract me now.”
Now I'm not saying a trade is anywhere close to being done. All I'm saying is that there is smoke. As I've been saying for weeks there have been hints in articles (the one where Kyle was mentioned to have been sat down with Masai, Tim and Wayne before the season) that Lowry and Casey still do not see eye to eye and that they are both putting on a nice front to earn their next contract.
I don't think Lowry stays in toronto past this season.There will likely be many more rumors before the deadline passes.