Celtics pursue Isaiah Thomas, have reportedly discussed Rajon Rondo trade

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics were the first team to call Thomas when free agency started, leading some to speculate a trade of Rondo is in the works.

Sacramento Kings restricted free agent guard Isaiah Thomas has already garnered plenty of interest in free agency, with the Boston Celtics putting in the first call to Thomas, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst confirmed the Celtics' interest in Thomas, also stating that the Kings and Celtics have "recently" held trade talks about a possible Rajon Rondo deal. The Kings made an offer for Rondo before the trade deadline, and there were some discussions during the draft about a possible trade.

Boston's interest in Thomas as well as the selection of Marcus Smart in the draft would seem to signal that Rondo may be on the move. The Celtics don't have the cap space to sign Thomas, so perhaps a trade with the Kings could be worked out.

Why this makes sense

There have already been rumors that the Celtics would look to trade Rondo if they weren't able to acquire Kevin Love, and at this point, it seems unlikely Love ends up in Boston. By trading Rondo for Thomas, the Celtics would get a younger, cheaper player as they continue to rebuild. Boston would also likely nab another asset from Sacramento.

As for the Kings, they would get a star point guard to pair with DeMarcus Cousins. A Rondo-Cousins pairing would be awfully dynamic, and having Rudy Gay to play off those two makes him even more dangerous. Sacramento is desperate to actually start winning, and this would be a nice core to try with.

Why this doesn't make sense

The Celtics might be a long shot for Love at this point, but until the star power forward is traded, they're technically still alive. Any trade of Rondo would likely eliminate Boston from the Love sweepstakes, because Love surely wouldn't want to remain with the Celtics long term if Rondo was dealt.

While the Kings would love Rondo, the price would surely be quite high. The Celtics could ask for another young player like Ben McLemore, and it may be tough to give up both Thomas and McLemore for the high-priced Rondo.


A deal like this would make some sense for both sides, and there has been quite a bit of smoke in terms of these two teams making a deal. I wouldn't call a Thomas-for-Rondo deal likely, but I'll give it a 50 percent chance of happening.

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