Another year has gone by, and it feels like dejavu: Rajon Rondo isn’t getting a lot of interest around the league, with the Sacramento Kings probably the only team actually kinda excited about the prospect of him playing for them.
The Kings’ draft picks, which have left DeMarcus Cousins quite frustrated, leave them with plenty of shortcomings on the roster. Rondo, who averaged 11.9 points and an NBA-best 11.7 assists per game, had something of a comeback season, at least in terms of rebuilding his image, trying to erase the notion that he’s a locker room cancer and can’t work with demanding NBA coaches. George Karl, fired after the season, had his share of problems on the team, but it had nothing to do with Rondo.
Rondo expressed interest of playing for the New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets, but that doesn’t seem likely. The Knicks traded for Derrick Rose, and the Nets are probably looking for someone a little bit more team oriented. Making the front office personnel connections leads to the conclusion that Jeremy Lin might be their number one target at point guard. In any case, it’s probably not going to be Rondo, who didn’t seem that excited about returning to Sacramento because of the relationships within the team last season.
However, being realistic, the Kings might be the only team out there for Rondo with a good enough offer financially and the minutes he wants. Rondo made $9.5 million last season, and won’t be getting from anyone the kind of deal he’s dreaming of: A max offer, or close to it. It’s funny to think that not too long ago Rondo was considered underpaid while making $12 million a season. One bad stint with the Dallas Mavericks and not developing some of his weaker aspects pushed him out of the discussion for best point guard in the NBA. He’s nowhere close to that now.
Rondo actually shot decently from three last season, hitting 36.5% of his shots on 2.4 attempts per game. He bounced back from his horrific free throw shooting in 2014-2015 to a slightly less horrific 58%. Still, teams are more than willing to leave him open, while his assist numbers don’t often tell the true story of his ability to create for others, and his defense is nowhere near the level it was during his better days with the Boston Celtics.