Boston Celtics Wanted To Trade Ray Allen And Rajon Rondo In A Mega Blockbuster Move, But Detroit Pistons Immediately Rejected The Deal

The Boston Celtics were in need of a star player to help them win the NBA Championship. They wanted Ray Allen, but they didn’t want him as their only superstar on the roster. So they tried trading for Rajon Rondo instead, but it was not meant to be!

The “rajon rondo celtics” is a trade that was proposed by the Boston Celtics. The Detroit Pistons rejected the deal and instead, offered Avery Bradley in return.


The Celtics made a drive to win another championship in the 2007 summer. It included giving up a slew of players in exchange for Kevin Garnett, as well as an effort to sign Ray Allen. The squad featured a powerful Big 3 with Garnett and Allen on the roster, along with stalwart Paul Pierce, and made a run to the NBA Finals, where they won the 2008 title.

Rajon Rondo, the team’s starting point guard and an All-Defensive Team member, was one of the other constants. Rondo was constantly hustling and had a tenacity about him when it came to winning that complemented Garnett well. The Celtics failed to return to the NBA Finals the following season, resulting in the 2009 offseason.

After two years, the Celtics were OK with breaking up their big three and trading Rondo to the Detroit Pistons for a package of players. An offer was on the table that might have thrown the 2010 NBA Finals into disarray. This request, which was almost a mega-blockbuster deal in the summer of 2009, was refused by the Pistons.

The Trade Specifications


Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Rodney Stuckey are among the Boston Celtics’ newcomers.

Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen have been acquired by the Detroit Pistons.

During the summer, the Celtics were rumored to be shopping Rondo and Allen. Rondo was coming off a season in which he averaged 11.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 8.2 assists, and 1.9 steals in his third season in the NBA. Allen, on the other hand, scored 18.2 points a game and shot 48.0 percent from the field, including 40.9 percent from three-point range.

This report had some substance, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, who was working for Yahoo Sports at the time. Danny Ainge, the Celtics’ general manager, was seeking to see if the Pistons would take on both Rondo and Allen’s contracts in exchange for Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Rodney Stuckey. Concerns concerning Rondo’s maturity level have also been raised.

“There has been some squabbling with Rondo, which is mostly due to a lack of maturity. There are no insurmountable difficulties with him, but Ainge has never been opposed to soliciting ideas from across the league. Nonetheless, it’s difficult to see how Boston could strike a contract with these two players that would allow them to remain a title contender in the wake of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.”

The Trade Was Rejected By Joe Dumars

It was not “uncommon” for Ainge to phone league officials, according to Woj. With that said, Woj said that neither Ainge nor Dumars had discussed the transaction informally. The specifics were supplied, but they were routed via lower-level officials before reaching Dumars, who rejected the deal.

“According to league insiders, Boston general manager Danny Ainge and Detroit’s Joe Dumars never talked, but the Celtics had a lower-level executive make the case to a Pistons official over the weekend.” The plan was instantly rejected by Detroit, and it never progressed to the two senior executives discussing specifics.”

When you consider that Allen was turning 34 and owed $20 million on an expiring deal, it’s easy to see why Ainge made the decision. Plus, despite his outstanding 2009 playoff performance, Rondo has had many run-ins with head coaches in the past, so having concerns about the younger version of him isn’t wholly absurd, particularly when a long-term contract deal was being discussed.

If a trade occurs, the following is the projected lineup for the Celtics.


PG: Rodney Stuckey

Richard Hamilton (SG)

Paul Pierce (SF)

Kevin Garnett, PF

Kendrick Perkins (C)

In this trade, the Celtics would have given up two starters in exchange for a rookie point guard in Stuckey and an experienced scorer in Hamilton. Hamilton had just had a season in which he scored 18.3 points per game on average. It would come down to a “would you rather” situation. Hamilton previously averaged a high number of points in a season in 2009-2010, when he finished with 18.1 points in just 46 games.

Because Allen would remain with the club longer and have greater success, this would have been a one-year successful rental in which Hamilton would not have played the whole season. Even if the Celtics replace Hamilton with Allen, they may not be able to win the NBA Finals in 2010. Stuckey was likewise a second-year player with no postseason experience.

If a trade occurs, the following is the projected lineup for the Pistons.


Rajon Rondo (PG)

Ben Gordon (SG)

Ray Allen, SG

Jonas Jerebko, PF

Ben Wallace (C)

On paper, this should have been the year when the genuine rebuilding began. If you thought Rondo had issues in Boston, picture him at this age playing for this club, which would have been far worse. Rondo would have gone or demanded a trade at the first opportunity. Perhaps Rondo’s presence would have benefited Ben Gordon, but Gordon dropped from averaging 20.7 points per game to only 13.8 points per game. His next seasons were all on the decline.

Allen’s efforts would not have been sufficient to propel this squad forward, and he would have gone after the season. Ben Wallace was back with the squad after a stint with the Cavaliers, while Jonas Jerebko was a rookie after being taken with the No. 39 overall choice in the draft. He was also in the midst of a career reversal. This lineup may have gotten them a spot in the eighth round.

The Following Match

Stuckey finally departed the Pistons in free agency in 2014, but the franchise was in a rut, hanging in the middle of the standings with no apparent path forward. Meanwhile, Hamilton was bought out by the Chicago Bulls in 2011 and became a major member of the “Bench Mob.” Prince remained with the organization until 2013, when he was moved in a three-team deal including Jose Calderon.

Rondo remained with the Celtics until 2012, although he was a significant contributor to the team’s success. He was later sent to the Mavericks in exchange for Jae Crowder and a first-round selection, which turned out to be a bad deal for Dallas. Allen, on the other hand, departed the Celtics in 2012 to join the Miami Heat, resulting in a 10-year emotional separation with the franchise. Because this deal never took place, the team took two completely different trajectories.

The Pistons’ dynasty started to crumble after the 2007-2008 season. It would be seven years until the squad had a winning record. The squad reached the playoffs in 2008-2009, although previous Finals MVP Chauncey Billups had been dealt to the Nuggets. After the 2009 season, Allen Iverson, who was acquired in a trade, departed the team. Ben Gordon’s production dropped significantly after joining the team from the Bulls, although Ben Wallace was an older player. Allen would have departed the club after one season and joined the Heat, but it would have been two years earlier this time.

The Celtics, on the other hand, kept its core intact and were a title contender for three years in a row. The Celtics reached the NBA Finals in 2010, but were beaten by the Los Angeles Lakers, who had won their second consecutive championship. The club was lost in the playoffs in 2011, but the 2012 season was the most dramatic. The club advanced to the Conference Finals, but were beaten in a difficult, physical series against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.

Allen departed the Celtics after bowing out, which enraged Kevin Garnett, who felt the Celtics were talented enough to overcome Miami. It resulted in Allen’s departure from Celtics staff and fans who supported Garnett. Allen was not spotted hugging Garnett and Pierce until this year (2022), indicating that everyone has moved on from the past. In the end, Ainge made the greatest decision he could have made by refusing to make the transaction. 


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