Ex-Celtics Star Named as Possible Target for Division Rival

Rajon Rondo

Getty Rajon Rondo #1, Cleveland Cavaliers

The Philadelphia 76ers may look for help as the season progresses. An Eastern Conference executive revealed to Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney the type of player he believes they could have added over the offseason.

“They could have gotten a shooter of some kind to go ahead and give them some minutes, make some shots, score a little,” the exec told Deveney.

The exec added several available free agents who the Sixers may look to add. Among those who the Sixers may target is a former Boston Celtics star, according to the executive, although his role would not have been too big.

“Wayne Ellington, Jeremy Lamb, or one of Doc’s old guys like (Rajon) Rondo or Lou Williams. Those guys were not going to play much, though, so the thinking is, let’s keep what we got and keep that spot and see what happens when it comes time to make a trade.”

Rondo played for Rivers from 2006 to 2013 before Rivers was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. Rondo eventually played for the Clippers, but that was the year after the Clippers parted ways with Rivers during the 2020-21 season.

Rondo has remained a free agent since playing for both the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2021-22 season. In 39 games, Rondo averaged 4.8 points, 4.4 assists, and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 38.6 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from three.

Sixers Value Cap Flexibility

The executive later added if the Sixers decide to make more moves involving some of their players, they want to keep their cap flexibility more than anything.

“Right now, with their tax situation and the hard cap, the flexibility is worth more to them than anything they are going to get on the market. If they are going to make a move on (Matisse) Thybulle or (Furkan) Korkmaz, they want to have the room to be able to take on more salary there, so they want to keep their numbers low,” the exec said.

The Sixers’ payroll is currently at $151.4 million, most of which is attributed to Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tobias Harris, all of whom are being paid $33 million or more this season.

Doc Rivers Believed Celtics Gave Away Rotation Pieces

During an interview with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on Wojnarowski’s podcast, Rivers said that the biggest mistake the Celtics made after winning the championship was letting some of their important role players leave.

“We do make mistakes, like if I went back to Boston, the biggest mistakes… after 2008, we start chipping pieces away like Tony Allen and James Posey,” Rivers said.

Rivers then praised the Golden State Warriors by comparison for keeping their role players, like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, then letting them walk only when they were too old.

“I thought what Golden State did (was) smart. They kept their core as long as they could keep it, and then they started making moves when the guys got older.”

Even after players like Iguodala and Livingston got too old, the Warriors managed to add other veterans who took their place, like Andrew Wiggins, Otto Porter Jr., Gary Payton II, and Nemanja Bjelica to pick up their slack, which ended with them winning the title in 2022.

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