It’s so good to finally see a trade happen early in the NBA. The Celtics were shopping Rondo for some time but in interviews Danny Ainge and Rajon Rondo would say nothing was going to happen.
The Dallas Mavericks wanted Rondo and they got him. It remains to be seen if this is in fact a great move for the Mavericks who are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference.
The point guards for the Mavs were not putting up big numbers. Devin Harris leads them in scoring with 9.1 ppg and the starting point guard Jameer Nelson was only averaging 7.3 ppg on 37% shooting. He shot 36% from the three point line which is decent.
Rajon Rondo comes in averaging 8.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg and a league leading 10.8 apg. Those numbers can be deceiving when you look at them. Yes Rondo is a great passer but he does like to hold the ball and wait for someone to get open. The Mavs like to move the ball and let everyone touch the ball.
The Mavs lose a reliable free throw shooter in Jameer Nelson. He is a career 81% shooter from the line. Rondo on the other hand is a 61% career free throw shooter. Rondo limits the Mavs spacing on the floor. He is not a threat to catch & shoot on a Monta Ellis kick out.
Before tearing his ACL Rondo was shooting 48% from the field and 64% from the free throw line. Since returning those numbers have continued to drop. He’s shooting 40% from the field this season and a career low 33% from the free throw line.
He’s 12-36 from the free throw line. He does not want to be fouled at all. How can he be on the court in late game situations for the Mavs? Just think Andre Drummond and Dwight Howard shoot a better percentage from the free throw line than Rajon Rondo. Drummond is at 44% and Howard is at 49%.
Rondo has learned from some of the best in Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. Maybe he was coasting this season because he knew the Celtics would not be good or that he would be traded soon. Maybe he improves his game and his shooting.
The Dallas Mavericks are a better team with Rondo but losing Brandan Wright might come back to haunt them. He was a solid big man off the bench for them. Rondo is a high IQ player and should fit in with the Mavs. The pick & pop with Dirk will be used often.
The Celtics got a first and second round pick for a guy who is not playing great basketball. They are currently 9-14 which places them just a ½ game out of the playoffs in the East. At this point I think the Celtics make another move for Jeff Green and continue to lose.
As Marcus Smart gets healthy he will get more time in the backcourt with Avery Bradley and they will grow as a defensive backcourt. Adding more draft picks can’t hurt and losing at this point to get a better first round pick is smart.
Both teams came out alright in this deal. It was no reason to wait any longer to trade Rondo. Hopefully we will see more deals before the trade deadline.