The Los Angeles Lakers got their hands dirty in trade rumors for the first time this season, and Rajon Rondo was the target.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Lakers have been involved in the Boston Celtics' trade conversations, along with the New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.
According to Stein, the Mavs are the clear front runners to land the 28-year-old point guard. In 22 games this season, the Celtics point guard is averaging 10.8 assists, 8.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. When the Lakers played in Boston on Dec. 5, Rondo torched the Lakers with 12 points, 16 assists and eight rebounds.
The unbelievable stat from that game was that Rondo managed two more assists, 16, than the entire Lakers' team, 14.
ESPN sources say Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets are also among the teams to engage Celtics in Rajon Rondo trade talks in recent days — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 18, 2014
Originally, trade rumors about Rondo coming to LA sparked when Kobe Bryant joined Rondo in Boston at a local cafe for breakfast the day before the Celtics pummeled the Lakers. Bryant complimented Rondo and praised the point guard in the lead up and follow up to the game in Boston.
According to Eric Pincus of the LA Times, Nick Young, Ed Davis, Wesley Johnson Ryan Kelly and Xavier Henry all became trade eligible as of Dec. 15. Jordan Hill, who is probably the Lakers' top trading chip, cannot be moved until Jan. 15.
For those few wondering, Kobe Bryant cannot be traded, as he is in the first year of his contract. Also, Carlos Boozer cannot be moved, as he was claimed off waivers.
Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin and Robert Sacre have been available for trades all season long.
Considering the Lakers' lack of available assets, landing Rondo would be a surprise twist to a season that has been sadly predictable thus far. If nothing else, Rondo would give Bryant time off from playing point guard, but the Lakers seem like they're a long way from pulling this off.