For some reason Rajon Rondo is controversial. You’d think a player like Rondo would be a coach’s dream–and also management’s proudest possession. After all, not only can he get 18 points, 20 assists and even 17 rebounds in an NBA game–unheard of for a point guard–Rondo plays hard on every possession. He’s a ballhawk on D. He plays hurt, too. He’s an undeniably great player with loads of style who makes players around him better (see NBA championship, Boston Celtics, 2008).
Yet all these factors have failed to compel the Boston Celtics to commit to building their franchise around this unique star. He’s a constant source of trade rumors and whispers from Celtics management that imply he’s not a perfect citizen. But that’s Boston–the rest of the league would love to have Rondo’s blend of immense talent and competitive fire. A Rondo-quarterbacked team–with even a modicum of talent–is a contender. Add him to real talent and a title comes floating into the picture. Rondo’s a free agent next year and it’s likely the Celts will deal him before the trade deadline. Do the Mavericks (who, remember, were the only team eventual champ San Antonio had playoff trouble with last year) go straight to the top with Rondo? Do the Lakers make all the Lin-Nash talk obsolete with a Rondo acquisition? Does this sound like a BIG THREE in Houston, or what? Dwight Howard, James Harden, Rajon Rondo. Wherever Rondo goes, it’s a whole new ball game.