The Boston Celtics are in a situation where a fire sale makes sense, but Danny Ainge has been steadfast in holding on to his All-Star point guard in Rajon Rondo. He has insisted that he won’t make any calls in an attempt to deal Rondo, but he will listen to any teams who may have inquiries.
The Devner Nuggets could be one of those teams. Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post reports:
It’s all important to the Nuggets, who have a trade exception of more than $9 million in their pocket after trading Andre Iguodala to Golden State.
“The trade exception was a big piece of the move. It creates a lot of flexibility for us going forward with a young roster,” Nuggets president Josh Kroenke said. “With a young roster and almost $10 million in a trade exception, it gives a lot of flexibility to make this team better.”
A trade exception is the NBA’s version of a gift card. In a salary cap league, the Nuggets have nearly $10 million to combine with one of their own players to help facilitate a blockbuster deal for a star.
This is a very intriguing opportunity for the Celtics. If this is the case and the Nuggets are interested in Rajon Rondo, the Celtics may be inclined to jump on this. A trade exception for $10 million is very hard to come by. It can help a franchise rebuild quickly by flipping that into assets that could possibly land a star player on the steam.
Though you’d be giving up an All-Star in Rondo, you’d get back a player who is serviceable and a tool that you could use in the future when the opportunity to snag a transcendent player comes along.
Giving up Rondo would hurt, but if you can get something better for him in the near future then you have to jump on this move.