For the past couple of years, there were rumblings within the Boston Celtics organization about the future of their All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo. His contract was going to expire at the end of the 2014-15 season, thus allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent. Already Rondo made it clear that he was more than willing to test free agency after his contract expires.
So rather than allow the point guard to walk, Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge made headlines this past Thursday night when he traded Rondo away to none other than the Dallas Mavericks. The trade itself was as followed:
Dallas Mavericks Get:
PG Rajon Rondo
C Dwight Powell
Boston Celtics Get:
C Brandan Wright,
F Jae Crowder
PG Jameer Nelson
2015 1st Round Pick
2016 2nd Round Pick
What makes this trade first interesting was the fact that the Mavericks were the suitor that Ainge wanted to conduct business with. Originally there were various reports teams like the Sacramento Kings and the New York Knicks were in the hunt for Rondo’s services. However they didn’t have the cap space nor the assets Ainge was looking for (i.e. 1st Round picks).
Dallas was in need of a perennial point guard who could facilitate head coach Rick Carlisle’s offense as well as play some stout defense at the one. Not to mention somebody who can get the ball to the Mavericks’ top shooters (SG Monta Ellis, SF Chandler Parsons, PF Dirk Nowitzki). They saw Rondo could do all that and were willing to accept the sacrifice of draft picks for the services of a player who might not even sign back with the team at the end of the year.
However on the Boston side of things, this trade has in doubt shouted a blaring message to the NBA and to the Celtics faithful: “We are going to be in full rebuilding mode for the next few years.” Interestingly enough, with the Celtics trading away Rondo, they traded away the last remnant of the 2008-09 team that won the NBA Championship title. Also the trade leaves them with rookie sensation but often injured Marcus Smart (who is currently battling an Achilles strain and missing time) and Phil Pressey (a serviceable backup guard) as the only point guards on the roster. Although getting Jameer Nelson could provide some form of relief at the position until Smart is at 100 % health (7.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, and 4.1 apg in 23 games this season), he’s no 4-time NBA All-Star, a 4-time All-NBA Defensive Team, a triple-double waiting to happen the way Rondo was during his 8-year career in the green and white.
For a while, the Boston media and some of the Celtics pink hats hounded and hollered that the Celtics should trade away Rondo since he was a “problematic player” that “nobody could stand playing with.” Now they finally got their wish. Rondo is gone. But with it so are your chances of winning, your chances of landing a big-time free agent acquisition, your chances of being anything but a less than mediocre team.
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