Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix joined the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning to discuss all things NBA. With the trade deadline approaching [March 15] and the Celtics at 15-12 and in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, it would seem Danny Ainge might be tempted to make a major move. But Mannix believes the Celtics might stick with the current roster for the rest of the season and wait until the summer to try and make a splash.
"I honestly think the Celtics believe they are not out of the running for a guy like Dwight Howard," Mannix said of the Orlando center, who is eligible for free agency after the season. "I know Boston believes they can't get him in a trade, but I really believe the Celtics think they can sell Dwight Howard on the city and on the team if he makes it to free agency. … And Boston, to be honest with you, they've got a pretty good pitch. They can tell him they have Rajon Rondo in place, a great point guard, a top-five point guard, Paul Pierce under contract for the next few years and all this cap space to give him a max deal. I think Boston has a real chance to make a strong pitch to Dwight Howard if he makes it to free agency."
Trade rumors continue to surround Rajon Rondo. Mannix dismissed a recent story that suggested a possible Rondo-for-Pau Gasol swap, and told Dennis & Callahan that's Rondo's established performance level and manageable contract makes him the kind of the player Ainge would want to rebuild around, not trade.
"The only way they would deal a guy like Rondo is for the two guys I know they've shopped him for, which is Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul," Mannix said. "That type of player they'd deal Rondo for, anyone else they aren't going to do it."