Brandon Knight, Rajon Rondo, and Caron Butler all could be involved in trade next season (Photo : Reuters)
The arrival of Caron Butler to Milwaukee has reportedly made the Bucks the latest team to join the sweepstakes for All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo. The Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors already expressed their interest to acquire the crafty court general in previous weeks, but the Bucks are silently making their moves to keep them in position to land the Boston Celtics star.
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge already made it clear that they won't trade Rondo anytime soon. Yet, anything can change with the Celtics at this point. The franchise is just starting to put up the pieces back to title contention. On the other hand, Milwaukee possesses a nice core of up-and-coming players and a playoff-tested coach in Larry Drew.
The Bucks recently landed incoming third-year point guard Brandon Knight after sending disgruntled guard Brandon Knight to the Detroit Pistons. However, several NBA followers believe Knight is no answer to the Bucks' long-term plan.
In short, the Bucks know they are one All-Star caliber point guard away from making a serious run in the postseason, and apparently, Rondo fits their requirement.
How the Bucks will pull it off?
Butler returned to his hometown with a positive outlook. He believes his experience and leadership will help the Bucks become a playoff contender this coming season. At the age of 33, Butler has already passed his prime. Offensively, the Bucks can count on at least double-digits numbers from Butler, but he will no longer be a lights out scorer he was five years ago.
However, Butler's true value for the Bucks is not his production on the court but rather his expiring contract worth $8 million. According to Yahoo Sports contributor Justin Haskins, Butler will likely serve as the final piece in a package that also includes Knight and several draft picks to make the Rondo trade work.
"The most valuable package that the Bucks are likely to put together would require the $8 million salary of Butler to make the numbers work for both sides. The most probable package would include Caron Butler, Brandon Knight and two first-round picks in exchange for Rondo," Haskins explained in his article.
The rebuilding Celtics may see this trade quite attractive because of Butler's expiring deal and the acquisition of Knight, whom many viewed as still a diamond in the rough. The additional draft picks will also give the Celtics more leverage to pull off future deals or select a college standout in the coming drafts.
Whether or not this trade will happen soon, it remains speculative. One thing is for sure, when Rondo trade is buzzing again next season, the Bucks will be out there to make some noise.