The Brooklyn Nets have a lot of holes to fill in free agency without a first-round pick in the 2016 draft. It doesn’t seem Brooklyn will get a meeting with Mike Conley after July 1, so is there another option?
The Nets were linked to Derrick Rose trade speculations, until the Chicago Bulls traded the former MVP to the New York Knicks for Robin Lopez. So is there another free agent point guard that the Nets should consider signing? One option could be a player who has won an NBA championship, Rajon Rondo.
Rajon Rondo has been one of the most productive point guards in the NBA. For many seasons, the criticisms to his game have been well documented. His below-average shooting ability combined with knocks against his personality.
In 2014-15, the basketball world was well-aware of his clashes with Rick Carlisle as a Dallas Maverick, and his reputation for having a somewhat unique personality with coaches and teammates goes back to his days as a Boston Celtic.
Rondo spent only one season as a Sacramento King. Although the dysfunction within the Kings organization can’t be solely blamed on him, it’s obvious that each team he has played for in the NBA has involved some sort of drama, directing it back to him.
Besides the personality, Rondo is coming off his best season. In 2015-16, he shot a career best of 37% from the three-point line. He was an outside shooting threat for the first time in his 10-year career. Rondo never topped 32% before this season. Rondo attempted 170 shots from downtown last season. His previous career high was 90.
However, he shot only 58% from the free throw line last season. His career average from the charity stripe is about 61%, so his shooting didn’t improv across the spectrum.
The improvement of Rondo’s perimeter shooting will make him more valuable, regardless of which team he goes to. He’s highly touted as a point guard with his ability to pass the ball and rebound as a guard. Rondo has led the NBA in assists per game 3 separate times, including this past season.
Rondo has a career average of 8.7 in assists, which is 8th all time in league history. To put it into perspective, six players ahead of him on that list are in the NBA Hall of Fame. The other two are still active in the league, John Wall and Chris Paul.
Throughout his career, Rondo has been a triple double machine waiting to happen. In 2015-16, he ranked in the top-five in the NBA last season with 6 (3rd overall). Rondo has tallied 28 total for his career, ranking 12th all time in league history.
The good thing about the former Celtic is that he can play on both ends, offense and defense. Rondo has made two NBA All-Defensive First Teams and two All-NBA Defensive Second Teams in his career.
He may not live up to his defense abilities from four or five years ago, but he can be relied upon to provide perimeter defense against a very deep point guard regime. The main reason of not pursuing Rondo is the baggage he brings regarding his past clashes with former teammates and coaches.
The Brooklyn Nets desperately need a point guard, the perfect environment for Rondo’s personality tendencies may be another team that possesses great leadership and togetherness from teammates.
It’s likely that Rondo will want to win right away, going to a team that will provide him that for the next 4-6 years, but it wouldn’t hurt for Sean Marks to make an offer.
Money does talk. Rajon Rondo might be worth it.