The Pistons remain in the hunt for Rajon Rondo, says Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, but they won't mortgage their future to acquire him:
The Pistons are quite interested in Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, but they don’t have a package to offer that would attract president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to making a deal. The Celtics would presumably ask for emerging center Andre Drummond, who is as close to untouchable as a younger player can get. Detroit would like to send the Celtics Brandon Knight and an expiring contract, but that wouldn’t be nearly enough. Detroit doesn’t have a first-round pick to offer because of the Ben Gordon deal that gave the Bobcats the choice of a Pistons draft pick over the next four seasons.
Detroit's interest in Rondo has been well documented all summer, but the fact that it keeps being repeated by numerous reporters in different cities suggests Joe Dumars is determined to explore every avenue to make this happen. A two-team trade is apparently unlikely, but perhaps a three-team deal could get it done? Stay tuned.
(Side note: I recommend reading Washburn's entire article. This little nugget was buried near the bottom, but most of the column focuses on how the Pistons finally appear to be on the right track. Also: hat-tip to TDP for the FanShot.)
Also, this is the first I recall hearing that Brandon Knight is officially on the block. I won't be upset if he's ultimately dealt, but I'm also curious to see if he can learn anything from Chauncey Billups. Like Knight, Billups was a lottery pick who stumbled out of the block and quickly labeled a combo guard / tweener and nothing more. Despite having two seasons under his belt, Knight is still just 21 years old -- or as old as Billups was during his rookie year.
In any case, CBS Sports' Matt Moore agrees that Drummond is untouchable but (ugh) wonders why Greg Monroe hasn't been discussed:
Monroe is only 23 and is, quite honestly, one of the more underrated players in the game. He'd make for a fine building block for Boston, along with the other assets that they would acquire. The Pistons would get to keep Drummond, get Rondo to pair with Josh Smith and go from there.
Yes, there are a lot of reasons Boston would want Monroe, and until the "Josh Smith at small forward" experiment proves successful, we're guaranteed to hear his name mentioned in rumors. That said, I honestly believe Dumars thinks a Drummond-Monroe-Smith frontcourt can be successful -- and if it is, he'll look like an absolute genius -- and I doubt he'd break that trio up without seeing it in action. If the naysayers are correct and those three prove incompatible, there's still plenty of time to make a move.