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.