Congratulations, we are more than two days into Rumor Season! And what a Rumor Season it’s been. Rumor Season is quantified as, by my own completely unscientific metric, 4 days before the draft until two days after the last high-end FA signs, or July 12th, whichever comes last. So, after the huge deals of Butler, George, and Paul, Trade Season is winding down. As is Free Agency Season, after players like Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap, and Steph Curry have inked new deals. There are exceptions to every rule, though. Not the Over-38 Rule, but every other rule. And here we’ll explore some of those exceptions.
Rajon Rondo: Basketball’s Best-Passing Ball Hog
Rondo seemed washed-up when he went to Chicago. He doesn’t seem to care about anything but getting assists, sometimes giving up layups to add to that oh-so-special passing column. But in the playoffs… something happened. Something changed. Rondo, alongside former Bull (That’s still weird to write) Jimmy Butler, powered through to two straight wins to open the first series of the playoffs against #1-seeded Boston before getting injured. 100% playoff winning % with him in ’16-’17, 0% without him. And yet, despite that, they waived him. Would they use that cap space? No. But $14 million was too much to handle in the locker room, so Chicago would rather pay the $3 million for nothing than $14 million for playoff wins. So, where can he go? He ruined Chicago, Dallas, and attempted to ruin Sacramento but was overwhelmed by the dysfunction. So, where will he go? Well, shout out to the Shel-BOMB:
How would Rondo fit in LA? Well, he would be a great mentor to Ball, who is similar as a me-second player. The problem? They traded Russell partially for being a bad locker-room guy.
Carmelo Anthony: Past-His-Prime Ball Hog
Latest news from Woj is that Melo would be willing to waive his NTC for Houston or Cleveland after prior reports stated that he would do the same for Cleveland, the Clippers, or Boston. So, where does he fit? Well, Boston just got young Melo in the form of Jayson Tatum. Cleveland doesn’t need more shooting, and I’m not so sure he’d want to go to CP3-less LAC. So… Houston? I’m not sure I’d still value him over Eric Gordon, and unless they are that desperate and want Ryan Anderson, I can’t see a great non-buyout path there.
Danilo Gallinari: Stereotypical 3/4 Tall Guy Shooter
Latest news on Gallo comes from Woj, who says the Clippers meeting made a “Strong impression” on the combo forward. Because of course it did, team sources would never leak that it went poorly. Could he go there? Well, that hinges on a sign-and-trade, as LA has nowhere near enough space. Perhaps the Celtics, if they miss out on Hayward? We’ll see, but barring a Bev/Crawford S&T- which would actually be a decent deal for Denver, it would give them a two-way PG to pair with Murray, Millsap, and Jokic. Could they work that out? That remains to be seen.
Dion Waiters: Lucky Athletic Shot-Chucker
Waiters just met with the Lakers last night, but otherwise, the news has been quiet on that front. He would be an interesting pairing in Brooklyn with D’Angelo Russell, but they would stop opposing teams about, as well as a colander, stops the water.
Gordon Hayward: Star Offensive Talent
“Welcome, Gordon Hayward, to that one game show I forgot the name of! Now, will you pick the team behind door one, two, or three?” “Can’t I just decide between money, winning, and weather?” “No.” “Ok, I pick door…”
Hayward has a seemingly impossible choice between three places. Staying would keep him in a situation that is perfectly tailored to and around him, as well as pay him the most. Unfortunately, they are in the West, so they probably won’t be making the Finals anytime soon. Going to Miami has some perks too- they have great weather, and would tailor their system around him. Unfortunately, they are in LeBron’s conference, so they won’t be making the Finals anytime soon. Boston seems like the best pure basketball fit, as they were already the best team and have more high picks to come. But it is cold, and they are under Danny Ainge’s direction, so they won’t be making “the trade” anytime soon. There is no correct answer. If I were to decide I would say Boston, but what with all of Whiteside’s antics on Snapchat and the emoji war ( v )
Will Gobert, Thomas, or Whiteside win this war? Well, let’s just say that this is now the league of the point guard…