Past pal Rajon Rondo has been in the news again and it seems like he’s looking for a new home once again.
Once a four time All-Star in Boston, Rondo hasn’t found much success since getting traded away in December of 2014 and it seems like he’s starting to run out of chances.
Fans and analysts are almost struggling to find a good fit for Rondo, who did improve his stock a little bit last season by leading the league in assists and helping the Sacramento Kings post their best record in eight years, but he’s back in choppy waters once again with the Chicago Bulls after inking a two year, $27 million deal over the summer.
A reunion in Boston isn’t just unlikely – but seemingly impossible – for a number of reasons, most of it being the high amount of point guard talent on the roster and the fact that he essentially admitted to not giving Brad Stevens a full defensive effort during their year and a half together after he was twice named a First Team All-Defensive player under Doc Rivers.
But there still are a few teams out there that could be interested in the former Celtic, including teams that could wind up facing off against Boson in the post season.
The Hawks felt comfortable trading away Jeff Teague because they were confident that 23-year old backup point guard Dennis Schroder was ready to assume more responsibility. This has paid off for them as Schroder is averaging 17.5 PPG, 6.3 APG – both marks above what Teague posted in Atlanta last season – and they also got a first round pick in return for dealing their old starter away.
But now the Hawks are lacking Schroder’s production on the second unit and that’s where Rondo comes in. Malcolm Delaney is currently their primary backup to Schroder, and that isn’t saying much. The 27-year old rookie went undrafted out of Virginia Tech in 2011 and has spent his entire professional career overseas before finally getting a shot with the Hawks, where he is averaging 5.4 PPG and 2.7 APG across 35 appearances. While a bench role where he’d only see about 20 minutes a night might not be the ideal situation Rondo wants to find himself in, he’d instantly elevate the second unit in Atlanta and it would also give Rondo his first crack at playoff basketball in a few years.
Kyrie Irving really doesn’t have a backup right now. Matthew Dellavedova left in free agency and Mo Williams never reported to camp and told the team he intended to retire, but he’s still technically on the roster because he never filed paperwork with the league. Cleveland has been left with rookie Kay Felder as the only other point guard on the roster, and even he doesn’t get in most nights as LeBron James handles point guard duties with Irving goes to the bench.
It’s another bench role for Rondo but the versatility that James brings to the Cavaliers allows for head coach Tyronn Lue to use so many other players creativity and they can surly find a number of ways to help an athletically gifted player like Rondo fit in. Rondo will also have the opportunity to help rebuild his image by contributing on a team that is bound to make a deep playoff run and he will also benefit from a number of games where Irving rests, especially down the stretch when their playoff spot is all but locked up.
This team has proven they can be somewhat half decent (or something like that) when they have a capable point guard on the floor. Brooklyn has been a much better team with Jeremy Lin on the floor this year, but the veteran point guard has been limited to just 12 or their 33 games due to multiple injuries and it appears that he’ll be out a few more weeks thanks to a hamstring issue.
The Nets had gotten off to a 2-3 start – surprising a few people – with Lin averaging 16.3 PPG and 6.8 APG during that stretch, but then he went out for the first time and he’s since been limited in the games he has appeared in. Brooklyn has no real reason to tank because the Celtics can swap draft picks with them, so if a capable veteran point guard is going to help them scrap together a few more wins then there really is no reason not to try. It’s unlikely that any team would have to give up a lot to get him from the Bulls and if he doesn’t work out then it should be easy to cut ties with a player that you didn’t give up much for in the beginning. They’re currently starting second round pick Isaiah Whitehead at point guard and he’s currently giving them a dead even assist to turnover ratio, which is bad for anybody…especially at that position.