Madness ensued once it became apparent that the Boston Celtics were looking to move Rajon Rondo to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Chris Paul.
While there is no denying Paul’s potential value to Boston, point guard was the one position where the team wasn’t shrouded in uncertainty.
That just isn’t the case anymore.
The Hornets aren’t high on the idea of Rondo, so bringing in Paul would require the Celtics to find a third team that could satisfy the asset requirement New Orleans sets.
However, all this speculation may come to mean nothing, as apparently Paul is unwilling to sign an extension with Boston. this development essentially kills any potential Rondo-for-Paul deal, as it would be unwise for the Celtics to deal Rondo without a guarantee Paul inks an extension.
We would be hard-pressed to blame Paul for his supposed logic. The Celtics are a team that is aging rapidly, and the only key player under contract for beyond this season is Paul Pierce, who is getting up there in years himself.
If Paul signed an extension with the Celtics, there is a strong possibility that he would find himself in a similar situation as he is now. Should he opt to leave New Orleans, he is not going to want to go where he will once again be the lone star, struggling to carry a team on his back.
From a Celtics standpoint, Paul makes sense. Rondo’s ability to lead a team without superstars has always been questioned, whereas Paul is proven leader.
That being said, trading Rondo without a guarantee from Paul does not make sense. Not only would the Celtics risk losing Paul to free agency next summer, but they will have given up a savvy point guard, whom they had under one of the league’s best structured contracts and stretched through the 2014-15 season.
If Boston is set on dealing Rondo, it is better off attempting to revisit its original plan, which was assembling a package to pry Russell Westbrook away from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Paul may be a great fit for Boston, and Rondo may be a fair price to pay for that to happen, but it has become increasingly clear that Boston may not be a good fit for Paul.
And with this in mind, Rondo is too high a price to pay to see if the Celtics can’t change Paul’s mind.
You can follow Dan Favale on Twitter here @Dan_Favale.