Earlier this season, the Boston Celtics dealt Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks. At first glance, I thought that Dallas just guaranteed themselves to represent the Western Conference in the NBA finals. The Celtics added picks and expiring deals. The deal seemed like a win-win, advantage to the Mavericks if Rondo re-signed. But the question is will he? I was expecting this combination to be better.
On the Mavericks, Rondo is averaging 9.0 points per game with 6.2 assists per game. Rondo was averaging 11.6 assists when he was on the Celtics which was the best in the NBA. The effort seems to be missing. Most recently, Rick Carlisle and Rajon Rondo could in a verbal argument over a play call. That resulted in Rondo being benched for the rest of the game along with a one game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team. I don’t like where this relationship is going. If Rondo is to stay, this coach-player relationship needs to improve, they need to pay him, and convince him not to form a Big-3 in another city.
Rajon Rondo has never had a good relationship with his head coach. Most refer to him as a poison. All three of his NBA coaches have had problems with him. Doc Rivers and Rajon Rondo were always in arguments. When Rondo was a Celtic during the rebuilding process, Rondo dropped an F-Bomb in a team meeting. After that, Rivers wanted to fight Rondo, resulting in a future trade to the Los Angeles Clippers. The relationship between Rondo and Brad Stevens was kept quiet. The two seemed to be getting along, but Rondo was traded in less then half of a season. We do know, Rondo was not happy being on a rebuilding team, and Stevens knew that. As soon as Rondo is on Dallas, he is in fights Rick Carlisle. This rift will cause Rondo to leave.
Whichever team pays the most for Rondo is the team he is going to sign with. There are plenty of teams who have a lot of money to spend. Rondo knows he is a star player in this league. There are star players all over the NBA that would love to play with a player like Rondo. Teams like the Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, and Houston Rockets all have the money to sign him.
Now it is all on Rajon Rondo. Where does he want to play? He could sign in Dallas because they made the effort to sign Rondo. If Dallas lets Rondo walk, they look like major losers in the trade. The Knicks since they already have a star in Carmelo Anthony who is friends with Rondo. Sacramento because they are known for overpaying for star players. DeMarcus Cousins even said Rajon Rondo is “Absolutely” best point guard in the NBA. Los Angeles due to the fact they almost acquired Rondo at the trade deadline. Kobe Bryant was upset when Rondo was not traded to the Lakers and vows to keep recruiting him to the Lakers. The Rockets are a long shot, but imagine a Big-3 with Rajon Rondo, James Harden, and Dwight Howard. Rondo could virtually go anywhere.
I don’t believe this coach-player relationship with Rick Carlisle is going to get any better. Rondo knows in the back of his mind that he can walk at the end of the season, and if he isn’t happy he will leave. Rondo will turn into a bidding war. If the money gets too high, Dallas will drop out because his production on the court isn’t worth the salary. Plus, the big market teams are going to be big spenders this off-season. The chances of Rondo signing in Dallas is getting slimmer and slimmer.