OK, Internet. This is your time. Less than one full week remains before the NBA trade deadline, and now is the time when all semblance of sanity flies out of the window. So-called “anonymous sources” are about to work overtime. Even by the usual crazy standards of trade deadline season, though, Friday’s report that the Celtics and Lakers had engaged in preliminary talks for a swap of Rajon Rondo for Dwight Howard caused tremors. The possibility of the two biggest rivals in the game exchanging their best players under the age of 30 is a shocking development, even if Rondo is out for the season with a torn ligament in his right knee and Howard has played well below his capabilities all season. So, go crazy with this one. Shut down the servers that support the ESPN Trade Machine and tweet your availability either to drive Rondo to the airport or to drive Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge off a pier, depending on how this trade sounds to the diehards. Just keep in mind that there is close to zero likelihood of such a deal every getting pulled off, for numerous reasons. Howard-for-Rondo could not be a straight-up trade. As you may have noticed, the Celtics do not have a ton of extra healthy bodies sitting around. The season-ending injuries to Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa have left the Celtics with 10 active players, and very few options to add reinforcements. Trading for Howard would exacerbate this problem, since the Lakers center makes more than $19.5 million and Rondo makes $11 million. The Celtics would have to add at least one other player to the package to make the salaries match up, per the collective bargaining agreement, and the Celtics’ depth would be dealt another blow. Both teams are over the luxury tax line and have other payroll limitations. Bolstering the roster is not as simple as the Celtics signing the top two or three players available. Ainge was aggressive last offseason, going right up to the luxury tax line of just over $70 million in building a team that was “scary” deep, in captain Paul Pierce‘s words. The Lakers flew way past that line, soaking up more than $100 million in salaries.

Read more at: http://nesn.com/2013/02/rajon-rondo-dwight-howard-trade-more-than-far-fetched-but-fun-to-think-about/