Chris Paul – The Boston Celtics and the New Orleans Hornets may be closing in on a Chris Paul blockbuster deal that could involve a trade.
The four-time NBA all-star will become a free agent after this season, but the Celtics would prefer him to sign a contract extension with them before giving up Rajon Rondo, who has spent five years with Boston and helped the Big Green win an NBA Championship in 2008.
Last season, Rondo averaged 10.6 points per game and 11.2 assists per game. While Rondo has been often been called the key driver of the Celtics, Paul is more of an offensive weapon, which is what the Celtics need with their aging stars in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. He averaged 15.9 points per game in the 2010-11 regular season – a career low – and 22 points per game in the postseason.
Paul also averaged 9.8 assists in the regular season and 11.5 in the postseason.
The Celtics shopped Rondo around the league last year, reportedly offering him and Jeff Green to the Oklahoma City Thunder for point guard Russell Westbrook and former center Kendrick Perkins. The Celtics hoped the Thunder would be willing to give up Westbrook after his erratic play in last year’s postseason, but Oklahoma City was reportedly not interested in a deal.
On Nov. 30, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge reportedly met with representatives from the Indiana Pacers to gauge their interest in Rondo. Even if the Pacers don’t get rondo, it’s possible Indiana may still be involved in a three-way deal with Boston and New Orleans to make the Celtics’ dreams come true by landing Paul.