Instead of having teams walking all over each other to offer him a max contract, Rajon Rondo has seen his season with the Dallas Mavericks shred his market value to pieces, and have the Sacramento Kings as pretty much the only team actually interested in his services.
The Kings have been trying to acquire Rondo for quite some time, but the Boston Celtics kept turning them down. The Kings aren’t afraid of “personality issues” and George Karl doesn’t shy away from them either, and has done well coaching point guards throughout his long NBA career. Rondo didn’t really take a liking to going there in the past, but now?
The Kings do need a point guard. A team that seems to be in constant state of flux and rebuild is hoping that next season is finally the year they break their playoff drought. Darren Collison isn’t a bad player. But a starter on a team trying to make the postseason in the impossible West? The Kings need someone better, and for all of Rondo’s flaws, he is better than Collison.
The problem for Rondo, personally, is how quickly he has turned from someone who is guaranteed to get a maximum deal to a player a lot of teams don’t want to touch. It’s not just his inability to make free throws (39.7% from the line last season) or even get there, or being a non-threat from the outside, which is unforgivable in today’s NBA. His attitude, diva-like behavior which led to the Mavericks simply giving up on him in the middle of a playoff series, seems to be the main reason his popularity with general managers and scouts has quickly faded.
Rondo, more than any other “elite” point guard (which he clearly isn’t), needs good players around him. Scorers, who help him get those assist numbers he cares for. DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and what seems to be an improving Ben McLemore aren’t bad players to be around. The question regarding Rondo is whether or not he understands how far and low he’s fallen, or perhaps he still hasn’t hit rock bottom, in one of the more incredible ‘fall from grace’ stories in the NBA recently.