With the recent change of scenery of Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics to the Dallas Mavericks, the landscape of the NBA continues to change week after week, and it continues to make the already dense Western Conference even denser. Rondo, of course, was drafted a Celtic and wanted to retire a Celtic. However, the Celtics had other plans, which in hindsight benefited the 28-year-old Rondo more than he might realize.
Even though the Celtics are only two and a half games out of the playoffs in the watered down Eastern Conference, they clearly had no intentions of making the playoffs, otherwise, they wouldn’t have traded their best player. What they should have done is add another quality player next to Rondo, but the Celtics don’t want to remain in the mushy middle. They want to be in the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference and that can only happen by trading for more pieces.
The good news for Rondo is that he is a major piece on a title contending team that desperately needed a point guard with his basketball acumen. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, has always been an aggressive player when it comes to mixing it up during the middle of the season, but he is not the only owner that is willing to wheel and deal during the young NBA season.
Stan Van Gundy, who is not only the head coach of the Detroit Pistons but also the general manager of the Pistons, waived his disgruntled small forward/power forward, Josh Smith, this past week. Smith is owed another $26 million, which does not even include this year’s salary. This is the reason why the Pistons had such a hard time trading away Smith. Therefore, the Pistons had no choice but to waive Smith, which led him to being on the market for 10 cents to the dollar. Now, Smith is on the Houston Rockets and there is no doubt that you will see a different type of Smith in Houston.
Much like Rondo and Smith, the following list of players desperately need a change of scenery. Sometimes it’s because they just need change, other times it is because they need a new offense to run to properly utilize their talents, or it is simply because they need to play with other veterans that can help maturate them.
15 15. Luol Deng – Miami Heat
14 14. Andrew Wiggins – Minnesota Timberwolves
13 13. Jeremy Lin – Los Angeles Lakers
12 12. Brook Lopez – Brooklyn Nets
11 11. Tim Hardaway Jr. – New York Knicks
10 10. Lance Stephenson – Charlotte Hornets
9 9. Michael Carter-Williams – Philadelphia Sixers
8 8. Markieff Morris – Phoenix Suns
7 7. Gorgui Dieng – Minnesota Timberwolves
6 6. Kenneth Faried – Denver Nuggets
5 5. Arron Afflalo – Denver Nuggets
4 4. Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers
3 3. Deron Williams – Brooklyn Nets
2 2. Goran Dragic - Phoenix Suns
1 1. Carmelo Anthony – New York Knicks
Melo’s numbers have taken a big drop this year with a new head coach and the Triangle Offense that does not favor his style of play. Last year, Melo averaged 27.4 points per game. This year, he is averaging 24.1 points per game. The hope was that a pass first point guard like Jose Calderon would help alleviate Melo from having to work so hard getting his shot off, but Melo has struggled mightily in the Triangle this year. And now, he is “out” with a sore left knee, which may lead him to shutting it down for a long duration of time.
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