2016 NBA Free Agency: Predicting Rajon Rondo’s Landing Spot
Rajon Rondo has seemingly played his way out of every NBA city he’s been a part of. He forced a trade out of Boston, had a poor attitude in Dallas and didn’t leave enough of a lasting impact to stick in Sacramento.
Rondo was reportedly still open to the idea of staying with the Kings, but with free agency already humming and Sacramento no longer interested in keeping him around, Rondo may be forced to move on.
Running Out of Options
But to where? We can certainly rule out the Celtics, Mavs and Kings at this point, while other teams seeking point guard help like the Pacers, Knicks and Grizzlies have already sprung into action.
Indiana traded for Jeff Teague, New York traded for Derrick Rose and Memphis retained long-time veteran point guard Mike Conley.
Rondo isn’t without some options, though, so let’s take a look at his top potential suitors and come away with a prediction as to where he’ll play in the 2016-17 NBA season:
The Bulls lead the way here as the most logical landing spot. Not only do they badly need a star point guard after trading away Derrick Rose, but they might be the only legit playoff contender left that Rondo might really want to play for.
Rajon Rondo indeed had a free-agent meeting today with the Bulls in Chicago, league sources tell @MarcJSpears and me
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2016
It doesn’t hurt that Rondo has reportedly already met with the Bulls, either, and that Chicago has taken action to try to bring in Dwyane Wade and others. Rondo is not an efficient scorer and has lost a step defensively, but he can still run an offense and attack the rim. As long as he knows his role, he could be a fine addition for Chicago. This is without a doubt the leading landing spot for Rondo as free agency continues to tick away.
The Nets aren’t a bad spot, either, as they’re randomly spending money on interesting, versatile players. They’re far away from contending, though, which is the biggest issue for a Rondo signing.
That being said, they do still need help at point guard and recently cut ties with Jarrett Jack. If Rondo doesn’t strike a deal in Chicago, he could head to Brooklyn to run the show for the Nets.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are mildly interesting as a Rajon Rondo landing spot for three reasons: they don’t seem to be 100% tied to D’Angelo Russell strictly at the point guard spot, they want to get back to the playoffs and they’ve been tied to Rondo in the past.
This really only works if Russell operates at the two or is even traded, though, so a Rondo signing in L.A. may not make perfect sense.
The Bucks seem intent on allowing Giannis Antetokounmpo to run the show a lot next year, but they still have just Michael-Carter Williams and nothing else at the point.
Rondo can’t shoot, but he’d still be a serious upgrade over MCW, who has been an arguable bust and also cannot shoot. Milwaukee has a really nice, talented core, so adding a veteran point guard wouldn’t be a crazy idea.
Philly, outside of the Bulls, might be the most logical spot for Rondo in the end. Ish Smith is gone, which leaves them with just Kendall Marshall and T.J. McConnell at the point.
That simply won’t do, especially with the Sixers bringing in Ben Simmons and getting Joel Embiid on the court. Having a true show-runner would be ideal, and even though Rondo isn’t quite what he used to be, he’s at least still a guy who can set things up and help his team generate some offense.
Ultimately, it’s Chicago or bust for Rondo, as the best options for him have eroded quickly in free agency. With the Kings pulling back and a meeting already going down with the Bulls’ brass, it’s very likely we hear something soon about him signing on the dotted line.
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