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Rajon Rondo made these comments while appearing on ESPN’s show “Numbers Never Lie” on Friday. Initially, Rondo was discussing the possibility of Carmelo Anthony joining the Chicago Bulls, and he said that ‘Melo could be the “missing piece” for the Bulls. He said that Anthony, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah would be a very talented Big Three in Chicago.
Then, without any urging, Rondo mentioned Boston as a possible destination for Anthony. Rondo made it clear that the Celtics aren’t exactly being patient and going through a traditional rebuilding process, saying that Boston wants to contend sooner than later.
Rondo seemed to hint that Boston wants to flip some of their draft picks and young talent in exchange for veteran contributors, much like they did several years back when they acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen alongside Paul Pierce.
Rondo then said that he’d love to see the Celtics add Anthony and “an additional piece” in order to become a championship contender again. Boston’s pursuit of Kevin Love has been well-documented, but could they be in the mix for Anthony as well?
The Celtics have plenty of draft picks and young assets to work with as they try to wheel and deal. Boston is a big market that could be a draw for a star player, and Rondo’s presence certainly doesn’t hurt either since he’s still one of the best point guards in the NBA.
Rondo and Anthony go way back, as both players attended Oak Hill Academy in high school and they reportedly communicate a lot. Last year, their high school coach Steve Smith made headlines when he said that Anthony had been recruiting Rondo to New York. Now, could it be the other way around, with Rondo trying to woo Anthony to Boston?
Top prospect Joel Embiid underwent surgery to fix a stress fracture in his right foot on Friday. Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the timetable for Embiid’s recovery is four-to-six months, something that teams will need to consider with the draft coming up in less than a week.
Embiid was considered by many to be the likely first pick in the 2014 draft, but now the common belief is that he will slip at least a few spots. Teams are also concerned about Embiid’s previous back injury, which kept him out of the NCAA Tournament this past season.
With injuries derailing many talented centers over the years, most recently Greg Oden, teams are weighing the balance between Embiid’s incredible skill-set and potential, and his medical issues.
Jeff Goodman of ESPN tweeted on Friday:
One NBA GM picking in Top 10 on Embiid: "My medical people told me flat-out not to take him."
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 20, 2014
The issues surrounding Embiid are real, but it is unlikely he slips too far. Embiid will reportedly not attend the draft next week.
David Blatt has a long history of success in Europe, most recently winning the Euroleague Championship with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Blatt is regarded as an offensive genius, implementing an offensive system that emphasizes ball movement and spacing. He inherits a team of talented young players, including Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson.
The Cavs also have the number one pick in the upcoming draft, and will likely be deciding between prospects like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Dante Exum, now that Joel Embiid has undergone major foot surgery.
Blatt has never coached in the NBA before, but should have little trouble adapting after coaching teams all across Europe and the Russian national team in the Olympics.