Rondo for Superman? Not so fast

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Rondo for Superman? Not so fast

HOUSTON The trade rumor mill was up and running Friday night with the latest offering involving a trade package that would send Boston's Rajon Rondo to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Dwight Howard.

The potential deal was first reported by CBSSports.com.

However, a league source said Friday night that both teams have had discussions with one another, but at no point did the conversation involve a Rondo-for-Howard swap.

"The Lakers would be waiving the white flag that their season's over," a different league source said when told of the reported potential deal. "It doesn't look good for them now, but I just don't see them moving Dwight unless he tells them he wants out and I don't see that happening even with all the problems they've had this year."

The Lakers are currently 10th in the Western Conference, 3.5 games behind Houston for the eighth and final playoff slot.

As for the Celtics, acquiring Howard would certainly address the team's rebounding woes the past couple of years. But in addition to Rondo, the C's would have to part with at least one more player in order to make the deal work out financially.

Considering the number of players Boston is already short of because of season-ending injuries, any kind of two-for-one, or three-for-two player deal would leave a Celtics team already short-handed in an even tougher pinch.

In addition to Rondo (torn right ACL), Jared Sullinger (back surgery) and Leandro Barbosa (torn left ACL and sprained MCL) also suffered season-ending injuries with all coming within a three-week period of time.

And then there's the financial aspect.

Boston is also extremely close to the league's hard salary cap of 74 million which is why it will prove extremely difficult for them to swing any type of blockbuster deal.

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told ESPN's Chris Broussard that there's no truth to the proposed deal Rondo-for-Howard trade talk.

"I haven't talked to Danny Ainge in weeks," Kupchak said. "I made the statement a week or two ago that we're not going to trade Dwight Howard and that hasn't changed."

During Friday's media availability, Howard reiterated that he has been told by the Lakers that they have no plans on trading him prior to the Feb. 21 trade deadline.

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


 

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
 
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
 
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
 
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
 
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
 
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
 
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
 
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
 
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
 
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”