Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
About a month ago, the Boston Globe quoted Danny Ainge as saying that his All-Star point is “going nowhere.” But on Wednesday night, ESPN analyst Avery Johnson floated an idea out there that actually made me nervous — and probably should have Miami Heat fans a little uneasy too.
Johnson’s message to the NBA Countdown crew was that he felt like a good move for the Indiana Pacers would be to trade Danny Granger to the Boston Celtics for Rajon Rondo.
Forget the fact that they have both been out — all season — with knee injuries. Rondo is the type of player that adds an actual Miami nemesis into a series that LeBron James told the world was not a real rivalry. But it wouldn’t be possible to say that if Indiana brought him in to shore up the one true weakness that they have. Especially since he was the last Celtic that the Heat feared. So said James (a year ago) in the Miami Herald:
“No one can figure out how to defend Rondo. He’s a unique player, a guy that breaks the defense down and creates for himself and creates for his teammates every single night. No one has the blueprint on how to guard him. You just try to limit his ability to score and limit his ability to find those open guys.”
Despite his ACL injury, limited range and the ability to rub people the wrong way — including former teammates (Ray Allen) and his ex-coach (Doc Rivers) — Rondo is a walking triple-double whose pass-first mentality can set up an entire team.
So although the idea may get shut down, you can never count out Ainge doing his old teammate (Larry Bird) a big enough favor to one-up Pat Riley, similar to the one Kevin McHale did to bring Boston a championship with Kevin Garnett.
You can never put anything past Celtic friends turned executives.
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Richard Nurse is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr or add him to your network on Google.