Adding a star point guard to the NBA’s highest-scoring offense, the Dallas Mavericks acquired Rajon Rondo in a trade with the Boston Celtics on Thursday.
Rondo and center Dwight Powell are headed to Dallas in exchange for center Brandan Wright, forward Jae Crowder, guard Jameer Nelson, a 2015 first-round draft pick and a 2016 second-round draft pick.
Rondo, 28, is in the final year of his contract, and he hinted strongly recently that he plans to test the free-agent market this summer.
The Mavericks believed they needed a big-time point guard to go along with a lineup that includes shooting guard Monta Ellis, forwards Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki and center Tyson Chandler.
Rondo is averaging 8.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 10.3 assists in 22 games this season. He is shooting 40.5 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range.
Reports indicated that the Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets expressed interest in a deal for Rondo.
ESPN reported that the Lakers offered draft picks and point guard Steve Nash, who is injured and in the final year of his contract, to the Celtics. Two weeks ago, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant had breakfast with Rondo while in Boston but said it was a social meeting and not about business.
When the deal was completed, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted, “(Can’t) say thank you enough to @bwright34 @CJC9BOSS and @jameernelson. Amazing people on the court and off.”
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge told WBZ-FM in Boston on Thursday, “Listen, my job is to look at all the different ways and pathways for us to be a championship team. This is the time of the year that there’s a lot of talking and calling that’s going on. Part of my job is to explore the variety of ways there are to get us to our next championship. And that’s all we’re trying to do — just build a winner. …
“Rajon has been a big part of our team, not just this year but for the past years, as we know. We haven’t really seen what (rookie) Marcus Smart has been able to do yet because he hasn’t been healthy. He’s got such a shortage of minutes and opportunities to play with the ankle sprain. So it’s a good question. I don’t think any of us know the answer to that.”
Over his nine NBA seasons, all with the Celtics, Rondo is averaging 11 points, 8.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds. He is a four-time All-Star, and he won a championship with Boston in 2007-08.
Wright, 27, is averaging 8.8 points and 4.1 rebounds this season, better than his career averages of 7.2 points and 3.6 rebounds. His contract expires after the current season.
Crowder, 24, was producing 3.6 points and 1.2 rebounds per game in limited action for Dallas this season. He will be a restricted free agent next summer.
Nelson, 32, had averages of 7.3 points and 4.1 assists in 25.4 minutes per game. He holds a player option on his contract for next season.
Powell, 23, appeared in just five games for Boston this season, scoring a total of nine points.
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