On Thursday, rumors started to swirl over a trade scenario that would send Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic to the Indiana Pacers.
It’s no secret the Pacers are in need of a true point guard to run their often stagnant offense, but why would the Suns give up on Dragic who’s coming off a career year, where he averaged 20 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists? The answer…….
Now this is just my educated guess, but I think the Dragic to the Pacers rumor is part of a big plan for the Suns to land LeBron James. There have been reports that Lebron’s agent Rich Paul has had meetings with multiple teams about James, including the Phoenix Suns.
My speculation was fueled when ESPN’s Marc Stein, who first reported the Dragic to the Pacers rumor, chatted with Grantland’s Zach Lowe about the Pacers trying to get the Celtics involved in the deal.
Rajon Rondo to Phoenix makes the loss of Dragic much easier to swallow. It also adds a superstar to the Suns roster to entice LeBron James. Rondo and restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe would be the projected backcourt for the Suns, but I don’t think the Suns stop there. The Suns could then use Bledsoe in a trade to bring the likes of Kevin Love or Chris Bosh to Phoenix….would that be enough to persuade LeBron?
Why for the Celtics?
It would start the rebuilding process. Rondo is in the last year of his contract, and with the Celtics being unable to lure another big name to Boston to help their star point guard, it’s likely time to move on. The Celtics drafted point guard Marcus Smart with their first pick (6th overall) in the 2014 NBA draft, and the move could be seen as selecting Rondo’s replacement. Celtics President Danny Ainge would look to unload the contracts of Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace, while stockpiling young prospects and draft picks in exchange for Rondo.
There were reports earlier in the summer that the Celtics are in the market for a rim protecting big man. Probasketballtalk quoted Celtics forward/center Jared Sullinger’s father who stated of his son, “Next year, I think he’s going to get finally get to play his true position of power forward. And so, at that point, he’s going to come home and he’s going to trim down and shed some pounds, so he gets a quicker step and a little more mobility. Because they’ve kind of promised him that they’re going to get a center.”, which the Pacers have in Roy Hibbert.
Hibbert would go to Boston with a combination of young players and picks from the Pacers and Suns.
So the main pieces in a trade would be Dragic to the Pacers, Rondo to the Suns, and Hibbert to the Celtics. Sprinkle in some draft picks and young prospects going to Boston, as well as a bad contract or two leaving the Celtics, and we could have a deal.