Lakers Howard – Celtics Rondo Trade Talks Continue

A growing rumor gave Mitch Kupchak cause to tell Howard he would not move him before the Feb. 21 deadline, but according to CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger, the Lakers have engaged in “preliminary trade discussions” with the Boston Celtics for point guard Rajon Rondo.

Rondo is already done for the season after the Celtics learned on Jan. 27 that he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. The 26-year-old was in the middle of another dominant season, tying his career-high of 13.7 points per game and was poised to lead the league in assists for a second consecutive year.

Rondo made his fourth straight All-Star team, but Boston has won nine of their last 10 games despite his absence, including victories over Miami, Chicago, and both L.A. teams. That fact could give Boston president Danny Ainge cause to move Rondo, and perhaps find a permanent replacement for aging center Kevin Garnett, who has alluded to retirement several times over the past two years.

Adding Rondo at the cost of Howard may symbolize a throwing in of the towel for the Lakers this season. Currently 3.5 games behind Houston for the final Western Conference playoff spot, Los Angeles has not lived up to the hype that was generated as soon as they landed Howard last summer.

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