Despite Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge trying to squash rumors about star point guard Rajon Rondo all season, speculation has persisted. The latest bit of chatter is that the Celtics want two unprotected first-round picks in exchange for Rondo, according to Sam Smith of Bulls.com. After Smith's report was published, Grantland's Zach Lowe tweeted that he heard the same thing.
At the end of January, Ainge said he was receiving calls about Rondo. He previously said he tried to offer Rondo a contract extension and he wants Rondo to be the leader of the team. A trade like this would mean Boston would be rebuilding without a centerpiece, at least until draft time.
Lakers and Nets discuss Jordan Hill deal
Los Angeles, Brooklyn have discussed Jordan Hill deal into the Nets' Disabled Player Exception, league sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 17, 2014
Nets have until March 10 to use $5.25M DPE for Brook Lopez injury. With tax hit on Hill $3.5M deal, cost to Nets: $17M. Not an easy sell.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 17, 2014
Hill has averaged 8.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 19.5 minutes per game for the Lakers this season. While he has had a few big games, his minutes have been mostly limited because Los Angeles head coach Mike D'Antoni prefers to have a jump-shooting big man on the court at all times. Hill could take some pressure off of the 37-year-old Kevin Garnett in Brooklyn.
Nets and Cavs explore swapping Jarrett Jack for Jason Terry
The Nets would like to add Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Jarrett Jack to their mix and have talked with the Cavs about a potential swap involving guard Jason Terry, according to Ohm Youngmisuk and Marc Stein of ESPN:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Nets, eager to add a proven ballhandler and backcourt scorer to their bench rotation, are willing to take on the two remaining guaranteed seasons worth in excess of $12 million left on Jack's contract despite the luxury-tax implications.
But it's believed that the Cavs, if they decided to go ahead with such a move, would try to find a third team to absorb Terry's contract. Terry, 36, has one season left on his deal after this one at $5.85 million and is averaging just 4.5 points on 36.2 percent shooting in 16 minutes per game.
Jack has averaged just 8.5 points and 3.7 assists per game in Cleveland, shooting 39.7 percent from the field. A change of scenery might be best for Jack, as the Cavaliers have had difficulty taking advantage of his abilities. He's best with the ball in his hands, and Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters are also ball-dominant guards.
Knicks still chasing Kyle Lowry?
The Knicks are offering packages including Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton and Beno Udrih, sources say. They have been reluctant to include sharp-shooting rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. or a future first-round draft pick in any deal. One of those two pieces are believed to be a prerequisite for Toronto to consider giving up Lowry.
"It comes down to, can they talk themselves into getting rid of a first-rounder or Hardaway Jr. for Lowry," one league source said.
Lowry has been arguably the best point guard in the Eastern Conference this season, and unless the Raptors believe there is no chance they can re-sign him in the summer, it's hard to see the incentive to do a deal like that. The funny part of this story is that a deal could have been done months ago, if Knicks owner James Dolan hadn't vetoed it.
New York is reportedly interested in acquiring point guard Jeff Teague from the Atlanta Hawks, via ESPN's Marc Stein, who added that the team is looking at all their options at point guard with the belief that Lowry will likely be unavailable. One of those options might be banished 37-year-old Denver Nuggets point guard Andre Miller, but a source told Stein that the team would prefer someone younger.
There's also a chance Teague ends up in Toronto, according to Begley:
One scenario to keep an eye on here, though, is the possibility of a three-team deal also involving the Hawks and point guard Jeff Teague. Atlanta has all of its first-round picks in the next four drafts and could conceivably send one to Toronto to satisfy the Raptors' demand for a future draft pick.
League sources say a scenario in which Teague ends up in Toronto, Shumpert goes to Atlanta and Lowry winds up in New York has been discussed. Another scenario could have Teague ending up in New York. The conversations are believed to be preliminary and have not reached an advanced stage.
The biggest obstacle for the Knicks as they try to make an upgrade before Thursday is their lack of assets due to all of their previous trades involving draft picks.