HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Welcome back to the swirl and twirl of the trade rumor mill Rajon Rondo. We missed you!
What’s it been, four months?
After seeing his name mentioned prominently in trade speculation at the start of this season, the Celtics’ point guard is making a return trip with the March 15 trade deadline looming and the team needing to do something to shake things up.
Rondo, according to the Boston Globe, is in the crosshairs once more as the Celtics are reportedly, “listening” to offers for the man who has become their best player:
An ESPN.com report said the Celtics have decided to trade Rondo after his attitude and personality have become too burdensome for the organization. An NBA source told the Globe the Celtics aren’t trying to dump Rondo but his name is being mentioned in deals, similar to the way it was when the team made a play for Chris Paul in December.
Rondo collected his 16th career triple-double and third this season in last night’s 102-96 victory over the Bucks. He has endured a difficult season with the trade rumors, an eight-game absence because of a sprained right wrist, and two because of a NBA suspension for throwing the ball at official Sean Wright.
Rondo also was upset at originally being left off the All-Star team and responded with one of his worst games of the season Feb. 10 against the Raptors in Toronto. On Tuesday in Cleveland he missed all six shots from the field and dished out 11 assists but committed five turnovers.
Last night he bounced back with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. Coach Doc Rivers lauded Rondo for his orchestration of the offense and pushing the pace. While he has shown flashes of brilliance, it’s uncertain if the organization feels it can begin the post-Big Three era around Rondo.
He has three years and $36 million left on his contract after this season.
If the Celtics listen long and hard enough, they’ll find a suitor for one of the best point guards in the game. But good luck getting back a player of comparable talent.
Then again, if these reports are true, a comparable talent doesn’t matter as much as someone whose “attitude and personality” is compatible with what the organization is looking for while they rebuild for the future.
One thing is clear, though. If Rondo is moved, it’s time to blow taps on the Big 3 era!