Prior to the Pacers' game in Brooklyn Monday night, an internet trade rumor began to circulate involving an alleged ‘blockbuster trade' between the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics. According to the International Business Times, one of the sites that first publicized the rumored player transaction, the potential trade would supposedly involve the following assets:
"In the proposed trade, the Celtics will be sending Rondo to the Pacers in exchange for serviceable veteran Danny Granger, George Hill and a first-round pick in next year's loaded NBA Draft."
At first glance, this rumor does not seem very credible given that the Pacers already sent their first round pick in "next year's loaded NBA Draft" to Phoenix when they acquired Luis Scola. Adding insult to injury, the supposed trade also has Boston taking back far too much salary - unless, of course, there are other unspecified teams or players involved. By dusting off ESPN's trusty trade machine, it can easily be found that the only way the rumored deal would, indeed, work between the only two teams mentioned is if Indiana was somehow, inexplicably, willing to take back the contracts of Gerald Wallace ($10M, 3 years), Kris Humphries ($12M, 1 year), or the combination of Brandon Bass ($6.4M, 2 years) and Courtney Lee ($5.2M, 3 years).
As of now, due to the fact that none of the aforementioned specifics of the rumored trade add up, the deal is likely nothing more than that - a rumor.
Nevertheless, looking to clear the air, Scott Agness from Pacers.com was in contact with sources close to Hill during the day on Monday and reported the following update via twitter:
For those asking, George Hill’s camp hasn’t heard anything on the rumor out there.— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) December 23, 2013
After the game on Monday night, the Indianapolis Star reported that they had been in contact with Hill's agent, Michael Whitaker. With regard to the trade rumors involving his client, the Star reported that Whitaker had informed them of the following information:
"... he has not been in contact with either team nor has he taken part in any trade talks involving his client this season."
This information, of course, directly coincides with Mark Monteith's Q&A with Larry Bird published over at Pacers.com in which the Pacers' Vice President of Basketball Operations admitted that he is not really looking to make a blockbuster trade:
"I'm not into making big trades, especially with our core group, but if we can pick up a player who can help us, we will do that."
Now, all of this information is not to say that there is absolutely no trade possible between the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics - it may just not be as specified, or, in other words, it may just not be a ‘blockbuster' trade.
Shortly after word broke that Carmelo Anthony was allegedly recruiting Rajon Rondo to play for the Knicks when his contract expires in 2015, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News tweeted the following:
One thing about recruiting Rondo. He's under contract. Danny Ainge decides where Rondo goes so watch out for ex-Celtics...like McHale & Bird— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) December 7, 2013
Likewise, in the midst of the Pacers game in Miami on December 18th, NBA analyst, Stephen A. Smith tweeted that he believed Indiana should be looking to acquire Boston's assist savant:
Good defense with Miami there. If Indiana doesn't stop turning ball over, they may need to do EVERYTHING they can to get Rondo.— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) December 19, 2013
Of course, thinking a team 'should' acquire a player, wanting a player, and actually being willing to send away valuable assets to acquire a player are all entirely different from 'getting' said player in a trade. As of now, the parameters for the aforesaid rumored deal just do not make sense. However, with that being said, Larry Bird has always voiced his willingness to listen to offers if they will make the team better.
Nevertheless, out of all of the uncertainty that inevitably accompanies the NBA trade season, one thing is always sure - even when a team boasts one of the best records in the Association, it is never immune from trade rumors.