BOSTON — The Sacramento Kings' interest in trading for Detroit's Josh Smith may not make a lot of sense on the surface.
But the more you examine the deal, you get the feeling that acquiring Smith isn't the Kings' end-game in all this.
In fact, a more likely reason for pursuing the 6-foot-9 forward is that he could be the key to them acquiring the player they have wanted for so long - Boston Celtics star Rajon Rondo.
Sacramento has attempted to entice the Celtics into dealing Rondo for a package that would include, among other pieces, at least one first-round pick (their No. 8 pick this year) and shooting guard Ben McLemore. So far, the Celtics have shown no interest in such a deal.
If the Celtics decide to keep Rondo this entire season, he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2015 and will surely look to play for either a title-contending club or one that's on the rise and needs a playmaker like himself to bring it all together.
Sacramento is a destination that few free agents immediately think of playing for. But if the Kings had one of Rondo's best friends (Smith) already on the roster, that would certainly help their chances at landing the four time All-Star.
And with a lineup that includes DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and potentially Smith, Sacramento has a pretty good core group talent-wise.
But before folks in Sac-land get too excited about adding Rondo, the team must first figure out what to do with Isaiah Thomas, who is a restricted free agent. Thomas had a strong season on a bad Kings team by averaging 20.3 points per game. He put up the kind of numbers that will result in a pretty hefty pay raise from the $884,293 he earned this past season.
As good as Thomas was, though, his strength -- scoring -- doesn't necessarily fit in well with a team constructed the way the Kings are currently.
And if you add Smith to the equation, it becomes even more imperative for them to add a pass-first playmaker.
Of course, at this point it's all speculation other than the fact that the Kings are indeed interested in acquiring Rondo.
And them pursuing Smith via trade can only help their chances, however slim they may be right now.