BOSTON (CBS) – Hornets point guard Chris Paul is unlikely to be traded before training camps start on Friday, but if New Orleans wants to part ways with their star before the season opens on Christmas, the Boston Celtics may have the most enticing package.
Various reports are saying the Celtics are offering up a package of Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and two first round draft picks for Paul. The Celtics are also not worried that Paul won’t sign a contract extension once traded, with Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers feeling they can convince the 26-year old to stay in Boston and lead the team in the “Post Big 3 Era.”
Paul, who has averaged 18.7 points in his six-year career, would give the Celtics an offensive point guard who can take the scoring load for the future. While Rondo has been great defensively, he has struggled finding his offensive game and often finds himself unguarded late in games.
The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers, once thought to be favorites to land Paul, have both cooled a bit and are not offering the Hornets the players they want. Golden State is unwilling to part with star guard Stephan Curry, the Clippers guard Eric Gordon.
So now New Orleans is apparently turning a corner on the Rondo package Boston is offering. They have taken another look at Rondo, and are starting to warm up a bit to Ainge’s offers.
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The Celtics are also rumored to be getting the Indiana Pacers involved, sending Rondo to Indy with a group of Pacers, and picks, heading to New Orleans.
The Celtics are making such a strong push not just to get their offensive guard of the future, but because the Los Angeles Lakers are also going hard after Paul, who has said his preferred destination would be Eastern Conference rival the New York Knicks.
Paul is getting paid $16.359 million this season, and has a player option for next season at $17.779 million.