Happy final trimester of the NBA season all! With only about 30 games left for most clubs, we're pretty much at the two-thirds portion of the year which not only means that the games get increasingly more important (for clubs looking not only to make the playoffs, but those hoping to secure a top lottery spot as well) but that the trade deadline is right around the corner.
And in fact, it's this coming Thursday.
For the Dinos, things had been pretty quiet until yesterday evening, the Toronto Sun reported that the club was expressing interest in the Celtics' star point guard, Rajon Rondo. Rondo has been recovering of course from an ACL injury so this looks more like a long-term play than a short-term upgrade.
In fact, as Jeff Clark of Celticsblog notes, Toronto would likely need to deal Kyle Lowry and use any assets obtained from such a move to get Rondo, whose asking price is reportedly quite steep.
Regardless of whether the club makes a move for Rondo, to me, the most interesting piece of this is that Lowry still does not seem like a lock to remain a Raptor, despite having an All-Star worthy season. Sure, it's rumours upon rumours, but at lot of the time in the NBA when there's smoke, there's usually fire. If Toronto decides to move Lowry for Rondo in some sort of multiple team deal, then what? Minus Kyle I'd bet the club falls back to being a sub-.500 basketball team, one that probably misses the playoffs.
But considering the club's record and schedule the rest of the way, that likely wouldn't be enough of a "tank" move to secure a top five pick and even then, do you throw away a season of progress for a chance at a Wiggins or even a lower option, like Tyler Ennis? And for a chance that they become as good or better than Lowry?
It's hard to see the logic there unless the club really feels like Lowry is going to walk come season's end, or will have an asking price beyond what Toronto is willing to pay. We'll stay tuned here.
Moving on from specific Toronto trade rumours we turn to the NBA's trade deadline. CBS Sports' Matt Moore gives us a nice summary of some key things to watch for this Thursday, while SB Nation has your hub for all trade rumours leading up to the big day.
Next up, some Raptors talk with RealGM.com as I dropped by their podcast last week to discuss the club. Topics range from Toronto's performance this season, to the Rudy Gay trade and next steps for the Dinos.
If you missed anything from All-Star Weekend, you can catch up here, and a good read by SI.com's Ian Thomsen who discusses how the All-Star period has lost its luster for NBA GM's.
One final link from All-Star Weekend before we go as DeMar DeRozan dropped by the BS Report to chat with The Sportsguy, Bill Simmons:
It's a great watch/listen as Simmons gets into some topics that we don't typically see DeRozan discuss with the media, including his favourite match-up at his position, the Drew League, and James Harden.