|Photo: Dallas Mavericks' Instagram|
Both teams have made announcements on Thursday night, and Rajon Rondo is officially a Dallas Maverick.
The trade was agreed upon by both parties at around 6:00 PM pending league aprroval. ESPN had reported that Dallas would receive the all-star point guard along with big-man Dwight Powell in exchange for back-up center Brandan Wright, forward Jae Crowder and veteran guard Jameer Nelson. Boston will also receive a conditional first-round draft pick in 2015 and a second-rounder in 2016 as well as a $12.9 million trade exception.
"We would like to thank Rajon Rondo for everything he has done for the Celtics organization and the success we have experienced during his tenure with us," said Danny Ainge. [ESPN Boston]
The Celtics, who were already at the league-max of 15 players on their roster, had to also waive center Vitor Faverani to absorb all three players coming back from Dallas.
Rondo will join a starting lineup that includes all-stars Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler. Plus pair up with Monta Ellis in the backcourt, and feed the ball to a good shooter like Chandler Parsons. This move arguably makes the Mavs an instant contender out west; who currently hold the sixth seed at 19-8.
"To be able to get a guy like Rondo, it's unbelievable," said Chandler earlier today on 103.3 FM ESPN radio in Dallas. "It's not every day that you can get a point guard of his status, and the way he can pass the ball, he's a difference-maker. To be able to have that, with the combination of what we already have with our system and the players put around him, it's special. It's definitely exciting. Like I said, I hope it goes through beacuse he's a heck of a talent, of the better point guards in the NBA." [ESPN Boston]
Rondo is averaging 8.6 points, a league best 10.8 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game this season. This is the final year of his deal and says he plans on testing free-agency in July. Dallas believes they will be able win the guard over to sign for the long-term between now and then.
Boston used the necessary trade exceptions to absorb all salaries coming back from Dallas, which means they essentially traded Rondo for no return and creating a $12.9 million exception (Rondo's 2014-15 salary) in the process, which will help in the future for Ainge. Wright's $5 million salary gets absorbed from the trade exception in the Kris Humphries trade ($5.3 million), Nelson's $2.7 million comes via the Joel Anthony trade exception (3.8 million) and Crowder will be paid from the rest of the Anthony exception or roughly 1.1 million.
Nelson does hold a player option for next season worth around $2.9 million after signing a $5.6 million two-year deal with Dallas after playing 10 years in Orlando and being amnestied last summer. He comes in averaging 7.3 points and 4.1 assists on 37-percent shooting from the field.
Wright is averaging 8.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game this season in 19 minutes. Crowder is scoring 3.6 points per-game
The Celtics will now have eight first-round draft picks in the next four-years (three in 2015) after trading away the three remaining pieces of the 2008 championship squad in Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and even receiving a compensation draft pick for coach Doc Rivers.
For Celtics fans, they have to wonder what's next for the franchise who has the most banners in the NBA at 17. Who is next on the trading block while Ainge is undoubtedly in full rebuild-mode. With Marcus Smart being asked to take the wheel,expect more moves in the upcoming weeks