The Dallas Mavericks just traded for Rajon Rondo and it’s immediately a different NBA. The balance of power in the West tilts toward the Mavericks, who were already loaded for a run. Rondo is one of only a handful of truly transformative players. He can get a triple double any night and he has started at point guard for a championship team in the Celtics. (In a 2010 playoff game against LeBron James’ Cavaliers, Rondo had 29 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists.) Rondo is a proven winner, wonderful to watch, hungry for respect, and he just joined a team that is all of those same things. The Mavs give up Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson and some picks. It’s a lot, but not for Rajon Rondo.
By some measures, the Dallas Mavericks were one game–really one minute–away from the NBA championship last year. That game was game 7 against the eventual champions–the San Antonio Spurs–and it went down to the wire. Sure it was only the first round but the Mavs were the sole team to give the Spurs any trouble at all on the way to the trophy. Now Dallas–already vastly improved over last year by regaining the center from their 2011 championship season, Tyson Chandler, and forward Chandler Parsons–is going to be must see TV. The Western Conference is realigned. Rondo To Nowitzki. Oh, boy. Lace ’em up, Mavs.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 18, 2014