The Dallas Mavericks might be saying that Rajon Rondo has a back injury that might keep him out for the rest of the series, but everyone knows that game 2 was the last time he has played for the team and head coach Rick Carlisle.
The Mavericks traded three players and two draft picks for Rondo (and the useless Dwight Powell). They got a player who took the ball away from their best ball handler (Monta Ellis) and took down their offensive rating by almost nine points per possession. That’s before what seems to be an attitude that could be caring less of what happens on the floor or what’s going on with the team.
Rick Carlisle has said after the game that he doesn’t expect Rondo to play another game for the Mavericks. Basically, it’s either him, or the other guy. Carlisle probably isn’t going anywhere at the end of this season, although Scott Brooks was fired by the Thunder so who knows? Either way, the Mavericks were banking on re-signing Rondo after the season ends. Now, Lakers and Knicks fans are rubbing their hands in excitement, although I’m not sure it’s all that exciting to have him on a team anymore.
The Dallas Mavericks didn’t gut their depth for Rondo. That’s a myth. Raymond Felton is basically useless and Jameer Nelson, despite not being an arrogant player who gets in the face of his head coach, is like Swiss cheese on defense. Brandan Wright? He is a loss, but the big losses coming from this Rondo gamble, which in hindsight wasn’t a very good move, was losing a first round and second round draft pick.
This is a loss-loss situation. Rondo has lost the allure of being a superstar, franchise-type point guard. He won’t be getting the max deal he seemed destined to receive considering the trajectory he was on a couple of years ago. The Mavericks got weaker by adding a player who cares more about his wars with his head coach than the team succeeding, and Rondo is in no way as desirable as before, just as he hits free agency.
Rondo isn’t an enigma. He’s not some misunderstood genius, who just needs to change his attitude to become the best point guard in the NBA. He never was, and a lot of what’s been attributed to him came from playing next to Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. He’s a guy with a big ego and a few huge flaws in his game he never improved or fixed. The truth is out, and it’s going to hurt him this summer.