Mar 22, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Rajon Rondo (9) against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 98-92. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Rajon Rondo. A team’s dream or nightmare. It’s been rumored that Jimmy Butler is not looking for a max deal in order to sign a short-term deal and make more money when the salary caps increase. Perhaps Rondo would be willing to do the same and thereby offer the Rockets an opportunity to do a one year test run.
Rondo strays from the requirements I listed that Houston needs to be filled but he’s still a remarkable talent. Like Dwight Howard, Rondo is good friends with Josh Smith. That may help manage his attitude more than Rick Carlisle was able to.
As far as his style of play with the Rockets, I’m going to reserve my judgement. He wasn’t the puzzle piece Dallas expected him to be and I’m not sure if he would click with Houston’s core either. For him truly to be effective, he needs the ball in his hands. He’s not a great shooter so he wouldn’t benefit much from Harden’s paint penetration. He dominates the game with his IQ. If Beverley finds another home, Rondo would replace his defensive abilities too.
And if you look at it, the Rockets core is very similar to the Mavericks. Harden and Monta Ellis demand the ball on the wing. Howard and Tyson Chandler play janitor by cleaning the glass. The largest distinction is how much more Dallas’ forwards touch the ball compared to Houston’s forwards. Rondo can help get those guys going by setting them up for easier looks, but after observing the Mavericks offense deplete in efficiency in the wake of Rondo’s arrival, it makes me skeptical of the outcome.
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