The rumor mill is spinning again! Jackie MacMullan is reporting that Boston Celtics’ point guard, Rajon Rondo, has indeed asked for a trade. The comment came on ESPN’s Around the Horn earlier this week.
According to MacMullan, Rondo has told Celtic management that he does not intend to re-sign with the team in the offseason, nor will he sign with the Sacramento Kings, therefore he would like to be traded elsewhere. The video was originally brought to everyone’s attention by Jay King of MassLive.com, but the YouTube video has since been taken down. Coincidence?
Of course the New York Knicks are mentioned as possible trade partners. When has there ever been a trade of a superstar that the Knicks were speculated to be in on? The different this time is that they actually shouldn’t (and realistically aren’t)be interested in the Celtics’ point guard.
How could the Knicks not be interested in the four time all star point guard, especially when they easily had the worst point guard ever last year?! Two things: the Knicks already addressed that issue when they acquired Jose Calderon, and Rajon Rondo is one of the worst shooting point guards this league has seen in a while.
Obviously, Rondo is an extremely talented basketball player and would be an upgrade over Calderon strictly based on talent. However, it’s all about putting a TEAM together. The Knicks have already tried the method of accumulating as much talent as possible, no matter the position, and hoping they just “out talent” everyone else. Clearly that doesn’t work. That’s why Phil Jackson was brought in to assemble a roster that fits a system.
Calderon does exactly this. He is a lights out shooter, can beat his man off the dribble, never turns the ball over, and has fantastic floor vision. While Rondo satisfies two out of the four criteria, the two he lacks are major issues in the triangle offense.
Rondo is a miserable jump shooter and always has been since he came into the league. Last year he shot 40% from the field and a career high 28% from downtown. Those are some pretty awful shooting numbers. Rondo also rarely takes or makes (27% for his career) corner threes which further hurts his value as a point guard in the triangle offense. By struggling to make open jump shots, opponents will sag off Rondo and prevent the ball from getting into the post.
It doesn’t really matter that Rondo fills up the stat sheet; he simply fails to fit the Knicks’ offensive scheme. If you need a reference as to why the point guard needs to be able to shoot, check out this article where I break down the triangle offense.
Another area where Calderon is actually much better than Rondo is taking care of the ball. Calderon had the 4th lowest turnover rate in the NBA last season at 1.3 turnovers per game. Rondo on the other hand has not taken care of the ball as well, averaging 3.3 turnovers per game last year, which shockingly was an improvement from the previous two years where he averaged 3.75 turnover per game.
The other obstacle in this whole situation is how in the world do the Knicks actually acquire him? The only young assets they have are Tim Hardaway Jr., Iman Shumpert, Cleanthony Early, and Shane Larkin. While some of those players are enticing, that is certainly not the best package out there for Rondo. Also, factor in that the Knicks don’t want to trade Hardaway Jr. or future first round picks (let’s not go there right now), so this deal becomes virtually impossible.
At the end of the day, the rumors may be out there that Rajon Rondo wants out of Boston, but don’t expect the Knicks to get involved. If this was still James Dolan calling all the shots, yeah, maybe Rondo ends up in New York. But Phil Jackson knows better and will not veer off course just to satisfy Dolan. Jose Calderon is the Knicks’ point guard for the foreseeable future, especially with three years at roughly $8 million a year remaining on his contract.
Sorry to disappoint you Knick fans, but Rajon Rondo will not (and should not) be wearing orange and blue anytime soon.