Rajon Rondo’s new deal with the Celtics will apparently pay him 5 years for $55 million placing him as the 8th highest paid point guard (tied with Monta Ellis). I have been very vocal about how in the modern era point guards are not the first piece to build a team around. Think about it…last year how far did the Hornets go? Suns? Jazz? The list goes on and on. Read the article linked above if you disagree! So signing a point guard as the “future” of the franchise should obviously upset me right? Long term deal for big money as the so-called Big Three start to hit the backside of their career.
Well, you’d be wrong. The Rajon Rondo signing was necessary and a smart move. Celtics GM Danny Ainge reportedly was offering 5 years $45 million but Rondo’s camp would not budge. In all honesty at that point what’s another $10 million over 5 years? Rondo was huge last year in the playoffs almost averaging a triple-double as the team lacked firepower with KG sidelined. Rondo is only 23 and has improved as a player every season. People look at his lack of scoring (still no jumpshot) but forget to focus on what he does best. Rondo is a pure, old-school point guard who plays solid defense with his long wingspan, rebounds and distributes the ball like very few. Plus his turnovers are also kept a minimum which is something Jason Kidd has never done as he’s always been referred to as a high-risk/high-reward type of player. With Rondo what’s the risk?
I agree that as the Big Three starts to decline it will be tough for Rondo to carry a team on his own. But would you really forfeit the shot at winning a title this year and next year just because Rondo should only be paid $45 million instead of $55 million? What’s the upside of not reaching a deal right now because of $10 million? After this season he would have become a restricted free agent in an offseason where teams have piled up money to throw at anyone they think could make their team better. If some team misses on the big names like LeBron, Wade, Bosh, etc then what’s to prevent them from throwing more than $11 million/year at a young point guard like Rajon Rondo. I think Boston will always have a tough time attracting premier free agents unless they are able to build a culture of winning, which is what they are currently trying to. Plus you have to add to the talent you have not subtract pieces. It’s likely that Ray Allen will retire or head elsewhere in free agency after this season so could you actually picture this team without Rondo as well? Ainge has his work cut out for him to make this transition as seamless as possible, but for now this move was necessary.
While it’s still early in the season Rondo trails only Steve Nash in assists/game , however Rondo’s assist/turnover ratio is insane. Plus Rondo also racks up the steals currently trailing only Kobe in steals/game. So, again, tell me, where’s the risk in this signing? A 23-year-old point guard who has improved on the court every season, won a title, almost averaged a triple-double last post season and focuses solely on getting his teammates involved instead of himself…what is there not to like? Let’s hope the rest of the league continues to get Rondo’d.