Rumors started swirling today about the Mavs' interest in Rondo. Here's a quick primer of the relevant facts:
1) This is almost certainly one of those rumors that exist because the Mavs obviously need a point guard, obviously want a star, and the Celtics obviously are rebuilding. It is very probably more of an educated guess rumor, a connect-the-dots rumor than based on solid intel.
2) While it remains deeply unclear what the Mavericks could have that the Celtics would be interested in, as the Celtics have just now traded two really good players, for two really bad ones in the name of cap space, that isn't necessarily a handicap.
3) Marion and Rondo basically salary match, and just like Kris Humphries, while Marion has big money left on his deal it's just for one year. If the Celts are full on "cap space and high pick in 2014" mode, that could be appealing to them.
4) The Mavs, however, almost certainly do NOT have a first round pick, as they have their next not-top-20 pick going to the Lakers to complete the Lamar Odom trade. Since they would have one if they DID have a top 20 pick, I don't honestly know how this works trade-wise but it feels like you can't theoretically trade the same pick to two people. This could be a big sticking point.
5) Most importantly, perhaps, as Mike Fisher noted over here, if the Mavs wanted Rondo AND Dwight, they'd have to get Dwight first for a couple of reasons. First, after Rondo, they wouldn't have the cash to sign Dwight as an FA. Second, if they had to sign and trade for him, they'd need their only big expiring contract, Marion, for any potential salary matching and then would have no contracts to send for Rondo.
6) So, basically, if the Mavericks do anything with Marion's contract, like restructure it, it probably means nothing is coming of this---and if anything comes of it, it really looks like it can't until after Dwight makes up his mind.
7) But, the fact that the Celts seem to be accepting bad players for good ones these days has to be seen as a pretty window-opening phenomenon....