NBA Rumors Round-Up
NBA Rumors: Pistons Covet Rajon Rondo
The Detroit Pistons still covet Rajon Rondo and have Greg Monroe to use as bait… Kirk Hinrich wants to remain a Bull… Luke Ridnour could miss some time due to a right wrist injury.
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The Pistons aren’t shopping Monroe but they’re near the point where at least listening would be prudent, although the market for shot-creating small forwards isn’t the greatest (Philadelphia’s Evan Turner, Golden State’s Harrison Barnes), and they’re not giving away Monroe for pennies on the dollar.
And nobody believes Celtics head honcho Danny Ainge will hold onto point guard Rajon Rondo, who just returned after recovering from ACL surgery, at all costs.
The Pistons have always been enamored with Rondo, the ultimate facilitator and competitor. And though Detroit has Brandon Jennings, he’s not necessarily viewed as a long-term option at point guard.
Jennings signed a three-year contract worth $23.9 million with the Pistons this offseason after extended negotiations with the Milwaukee Bucks failed to yield a new deal. There’s only $16.3 million remaining on it past this season, which shouldn’t be hard for the Pistons to move should they decide to go in a different direction, like trading Rondo for instance as Goodwill suggests.
At 23 years of age, Greg Monroe is already one of the league’s best big men. He’s averaging 14.4 points and 8.8 rebounds He’s headed towards restricted free agency this summer, though, meaning that the Celtics could be looking at simply losing Rondo for a rental unless they’re ready to try to commit the money it’s going to take to keep long-term. Market value for Monroe could be set somewhere around the $12 million range, as his agent will almost undoubtedly be looking for at least as much as his classmates Derrick Favors and Larry Sanders. Favors’ deal is worth about $49 million over four years, while Sanders’ is in the $44 million range. Neither have been as productful as Monroe has been in his career so far, which gives his camp plenty of reasoning to ask for for than $50 million.
It’s important to note that a Monroe-for-Rondo swap is the foundation for a potential trade, there would be roughly $8 million in salaries that the Pistons would have to make up for in order for the deal to work under the Collective Bargaing Agreement. The Pistons would have to figure out a package that evens out the total salaries a bit while not weighing down the Celtics’ payroll with any unwanted contracts.
The Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets have also been mentioned as potential suitors for Rondo.
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What Hinrich does know is where he wants to be for the remainder of this season. “I’m happy here,” Hinrich said. “I came back here because I wanted to be here. I still like our team. I get along great with the guys. We’ve been playing well lately so I just want to keep that going.”
There’s no shortage of Hinrich fans in the Bulls front office, but then again there was also a lot of Luol Deng fans in there as well and he of course now plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The consecutive major knee injuries to Derrick Rose has put the Bulls in a position where they’re looking more towards the future and rebuilding; at 33 years of age, even as popular as he may be internally, Hinrich just may not be the right fit for the Bulls moving forward.
There will also be competition for his services as Hinrich would make a great fit on just about any contending team with the experience he has and the stability he can provide both as a starter or a reserve. They can be major players in free agency this offseason and will likely look to make a big splash early on. If staying in Chicago is indeed a priority for him, Hinrich may need to be patient and they make runs after the elite-level free agents early on.
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Bucks guard Luke Ridnour injured his right wrist late in the first quarter and had to leave the game to be examined on Sunday night at the AT&T Center.
Ridnour apparently caught his hand in a jersey as teammate Ekpe Udoh screened for him and San Antonio guard Patty Mills defended. After Ridnour was examined in the locker room, the injury was termed a sprained right wrist and the Bucks said he would not return to the game.
Initial X-rays on the injury were negative and Ridnour, who has started 11 games for the Bucks this season, and a MRI is scheduled for Monday. Rookie point guard Nate Wolters and Brian Knight are now the only two healthy point guards on the Bucks’ roster; they’ll manage the position while Ridnour is out. At 7-33 they’ll let those two get the added experience, especially since they’re at the league’s roster limit with 15 players already under contract.
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