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Red's Army

Why can’t the Boston media grasp Rondo’s value?

Chuck - Red's Army February 21, 2014 Celtics News, Rajon Rondo 32 Comments

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The Globe’s Chris Gasper is the latest local media member who fails to grasp Rajon Rondo’s “value” and role with the Celtics.

Here’s the deal with dealing Rondo, I believe the Celtics would move him in a heartbeat in a trade that would bring back a player who either is or could develop into a bona fide, undisputed, Alpha All-Star, the leading man in the ever-fashionable three-stars blueprint that Ainge followed with the New Big Three. But Rondo can’t command that type of player from the rest of the league.

We learned that when the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans preferred Eric Gordon to Rondo as the centerpiece of a deal for Chris Paul in 2011.

There is a gap in how Rondo is perceived here and around the rest of the NBA. Here Rondo is a dazzling, mesmerizing, whirling dervish of creativity and uncanny basketball geometry, throwing impossible passes and finishing rakish forays into the paint. He is a triple-double-in-waiting and a top-five NBA point guard.

The rest of the league sees a premier playmaker with a shaky shot who has a reputation for recalcitrance.

The fundamental question the Celtics must answer about Rondo, who turns 28 on Saturday, is whether he is good enough to be the best player on a championship team? If he is, hang up the phone when another team calls and sign him to a max contract.

As we’ve said many times, Rondo is not an established  franchise cornerstone player. And he’s not in the class of budding cornerstone players, like Paul George, Derrick Rose, James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, etc. Rondo’s current offensive limitations keep him outside that circle.

Danny Ainge knows this. Brad Stevens knows this. Wyc Grousbeck knows this. Just because they won’t say it bluntly to the media doesn’t mean they don’t recognize it.

Yes, Chris, the Celtics would move Rajon Rondo in a deal for an undisputed leading man. That’s no secret to anyone, including Rondo.

Of course, Rondo can’t command that type of player in a deal. First of all, those players are rarely traded. Maybe this summer or at the next deadline when guys like Aldridge or Love are ready to explore free agency, Ainge could use Rondo in such a package with a desperate team.

Rondo is a bona fide #2. A guy the alpha dog needs to win a championship. A critical piece of any successful team. That’s his value to the Celtics. Everyone knows as much, except for guys like Chris Gasper.

Finally, Gasper’s decision to include Eric Gordon in his argument is hilarious. New Orleans is actively shopping the oft-injured Gordon and his bloated contract. If granted a do-over, they’d gladly take Rondo over Gordon.

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  • Curt Hays

    New Orleans…because we should really respect the opinions of a team that went bankrupt in the NBA.

    • KGino

      seriously, Gordon over Rondo? The only thing we learned from that is their front office was terrible. Go home New Orleans, you’re drunk.

      • Curt Hays

        Not to mention their choice of mascot…

        • KGino

          I don’t hate the name, the mascot was terrible though. He just had surgery if you didn’t know…

          • Curt Hays

            Lmao

    • adam

      wouldn’t a number one scoring guy want to play with a point guard like Rondo? Use him as a selling point for guys to come here.

      • Curt Hays

        For sure. Am I missing how that relates to my comment?

        • adam

          I think I replied to wrong comment…. my bad.

          • Curt Hays

            Ok cool. I was feeling dumb for a bit.

  • smotty

    Can’t really use Rondo to get LMA or Love, as he is a FA also and wont resign with either team he doesnt want to go to. Also those teams already have a pretty darn good (Lillard) or decent PG (Rubio). I suppose a third team can be involved, but it is unlikely Love or LMA would want to go to BOS without at least a talent like Rondo already on the roster to make them want to resign here. But regardless Gasper seemed out of touch with the NBA period. Just one of those that wants to see a splash trade just for the sake of it.

    • chuckmckenney

      Depends were we fall in the draft and who we get. Most likely we’d offer up a future #1 and Jared Sullinger as a starting point in a deal for those guys.

      • adam

        i dont know if i would want to give up sully or kelly.

        • jrleftfoot

          kelly in a sec.

          • adam

            i’d like to see him in celtics green for at least 2 years so they can guage his potential. if he’s not the next coming of dirk, then trade him.

          • jrleftfoot

            you might be right. He`s starting to look good on offense .He hustles. If he only played D a little bit.

        • kg2128

          For LMA or Kevin Love? You gotta be kidding. Especially Kelly, his best best best case scenario would not be close to those guys. Sullinger has a lot more upside (and current impact too) than Kelly but even he is not likely to get to their level.

  • Ron Flanders

    If we operate on the assumption that Rondo loves being “the guy” and thinks being the PG for the 17-time World Champions is better than moving on, then I think we can say that he could help attract Love (Aldridge ain’t going anywhere). Alas, the next great FA to come to Boston will be the first…totally agree with Red’s Army, though; Gasper is gasping for a clue.

  • LA Flake

    Jasper isn’t telling us anything we don’t already know. And I disagree with Chuck that Rondo is a #2 guy on a championship team. He’s a very, very good PG but every championship team needs their #1-3 guys to be bonafide scorers unless your alpha dog is named Michael Jordan. What Rondo should be is a great facilitator, which he already is, and a stopper like Dennis Johnson was. As for scoring, if Rondo has at least 2 bonafide threats alongside him, he can be an opportunistic scorer by easily getting to the rim and average 15-17ppg. But that should never be his focus. Just make your teammates better and lead by example on defense.

    • Ron Flanders

      How do you define #1-3 guys? Tyson Chandler is a guy who didn’t score much who was essentially THE difference maker on the 2011 champions.

      • Ron Flanders

        Rodman was the #3 and didn’t score.

        • LA Flake

          Rodman played with the GOAT. As for Chandler, he was not the #3 option on offense. He was their defender. Their inferior version of KG. They had other guys who scored: Dirk, JET, Barea, Marion and so on with Kidd playing the role Rondo should emulate when he has the talent around him.

          • Curt Hays

            Rodman did not play on the same team as Bill Russell or Larry Bird. What are you talking about?

      • Curt Hays

        That’s because the had NO paint presence…much like the Celtics the last 4 years.

      • kg2128

        That Mavs team did not win with the usual formula of a big 3 or even a dynamic duo. Dirk was the only legit star, Kidd/Chandler/Terry contributed big time but it was not clear who the #2 and #3 guy was. Dallas is not the norm, just like the Pistons were not the norm in 2004 (no superstar, 3 borderline allstars-Wallace brothers, Billups and 1 decent starter-hamilton)

  • ian

    boy does this guy have it twisted: THE REST OF THE LEAGUE views Rondo as one of the best point guards in the game with an incredibly unique game. THE BOSTON MEDIA sees him as a selfish, locker room cancer, pretty good basketball player.

  • ian

    Rondo doesnt have to be the go to scorer to prove hes our best player. We do, however, need a go to scorer to make things easier on everybody. Someone you can give the ball to and say “do you think big dog”. Rondo shouldnt have to be that guy and cant really be that guy because thats not his game. Whether that guy turns out to be Sully or Jabari Parker or someone else remains to be seen.

    • Curt Hays

      Thank you. Finally, some sense.

  • Jester00

    it sucks but I saw Rondo’s Jumper on my carton of milk this morning

  • pierce Hart

    Bullshit. Rondos a number one option. Hell prove you wrong. He’s for sure better than D rose. He’s an alpha dog and will show that. Perhaps a D wade to a LeBron. He’s on par with LMA and Love.

    • zippittyay

      Does anyone (besides the other team) have a real good feeling when the Cs are down by 1 with time running out and Rondo is dribbling the clock down? I sure don’t.

    • frickenWaaaltah

      D-Rose is the best example of why Rondo SHOULDN’T also have to be the crunch time game breaker. Rose and Rondo have both got to be the guy who runs the game like a stage manager runs a show. Rondo has got to be the hardest working guy on the floor for all of his minutes all night long (and thus ideally he should always play with a backup who can play quality minutes even in important playoff games).

      To be that guy AND the crunch time game breaker every night all season long is just too much for one mortal to do. Rose was(is?) good at it, but it tore him apart working so hard so much. Even Magic Johnson had Kareem and Worthy.

      And honestly, Rondo isn’t even close to being the game breaker on a championship team. He needs to continue to improve his mid-range shot and his 3 point shot, and seriously improve his ft%. Then he’d be a realistic #2 or #3 scoring threat on a championship team and that would also do wonders for the offense of a well built team in general and it’s all within his reach.

      Here at the beginning of it, I do believe that in this next phase of his career, Rondo can win championships and establish once and for all that he really is one of the all-time greats. But he doesn’t have to be the best at everything in the game to do that, and it’d be a mistake to try doing it that way.

  • frickenWaaaltah

    If Rondo is a #1 scoring threat on a contender, what’s his signature move? What move strikes fear in the hearts of opponents even just when the ball leaves his hands, even just when he’s setting up for it? They know exactly what he wants to do and they try to stop it and he gets it off anyway.

    You’re the coach and you’re down to your last shot and you want Rondo to get this specific look. And if he gets off a good one, then even if it doesn’t go down, you can walk away with your chin up knowing your team really did take its best shot.