Silly Season About To End
By Randy Renner
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks and all his players will meet with the media a week from today on Monday, September 29th, and begin training camp with the first official practice a week from Tuesday.
So as we get ever closer to basketball seriousness, the basketball silly season (where rumors fly around like flies) is about to end.
One rumor that keeps being repeated and seems to change up a little with each new iteration is that the Thunder and the Boston Celtics are working on a deal that would send Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo to Oklahoma City.
When that possibility was most recently brought up by Sean Deveney of The Sporting News he was proposing the Celtics would send Rondo to the Thunder for a package that would not include the Thunder's current point guard Russell Westbrook.
As the story was told and re-told by fans and other media members it quickly evolved into a Westbrook for Rondo trade, something that has been in the trade winds since at least 2011 when Bill Simmons proposed it.
Last night, during a public appearance in Boston, Celtics GM Danny Ainge was asked about trading Rondo.
"The truthful answer is, I really don't know," he said. "I have no intention, I'm not trying to trade Rondo but a trade is not out of the question, no one is untradeable, but I don't really see that happening."
Rondo's contract is expiring and the Celtics haven't been able to come to terms on a new deal. Rondo will make $12.9 million this season so if the Thunder were to bring him in and keep Westbrook on the roster some big salaries would have to go to Boston to make it work, most likely Kendrick Perkins and his $9.5 million expiring contract and perhaps Reggie Jackson.
Still it would seem to make much more sense for the Thunder to use the money they're spending on Perk this season to give Reggie his salary increase for next season and not bring in Rondo, especially since you wouldn't know what chemistry issues might come up by bringing Rondo onto the Thunder roster.
Even though this whole Rondo-Westbrook-Jackson-Perkins-whoever else deal probably isn't worth the time I've spent writing about it, it is one of the more persistent rumors out there.
And the Jackson contract situation is something both sides would probably prefer to have resolved by the October 31st deadline for extensions to get done but something that may very well bubble on through the season and send Jackson into restricted free agency.
When training camp begins the Thunder will begin practice with some real position battles going on and not just for backup positions and extra minutes in the rotation. This time around there is a real question (at least among the media and fans) about who will win the starting shooting guard spot and there could be as many as five players (Jackson, Anthony Morrow, Jeremy Lamb, Andre Roberson and Perry Jones) vying for that position.
Throw in rookie Mitch McGary trying to carve out time in the rotation and rookie Josh Huestis hoping to avoid playing only in the D-League if he impresses enough during camp to be given the final roster spot and you have a pretty intriguing camp coming up.