Houston Rockets: Potential Point Guard Swap In Texas?
By James Chung
Jan 28, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons (25) and Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (2) exchange words during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Could there be a point guard swap in Texas?
With rumors looming about the possibility of the Houston Rockets shopping for Rajon Rondo, and other rumors hinting at Chandler Parsons lobbying for current Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley to join the Dallas Mavericks, could we see the two Texas-based NBA teams swapping point guards?
Houston Rockets Rumors: Rajon Rondo Replaces Patrick Beverley http://t.co/aCVEc5EPuq
— David Johnson (@TheBlackAriGold) June 18, 2015
Personally, I would take Beverley any day over Rondo if we’re solely basing the decision on what have you done for me lately?
However, if we’re basing the decision on upside versus downside, I’m thinking out of respect, I’m going to pick Rondo over Beverley solely because you have to give credit, he is a former NBA champion.
Dallas banked on the hope that Rondo would be the piece to help the Mavs contend for a championship, but instead, they shut it down (the Rondo project) and that instantly tells everyone that this is one stubborn guy (Dallas might choose to use slightly harsher wording to describe him).
Let’s compare the two players: Rajon Rondo vs. Patrick Beverley
Rondo has championship experience.
Beverley doesn’t have any championship experience.
Rondo was once one of the top point guards in the league.
Beverley is one of the best defenders in the league.
Rondo is a player that needs full control over his team.
Beverley doesn’t mind deferring to a coach or teammates.
Rondo’s value has fallen.
Beverley’s value is on the rise.
Rondo is a poor shooter.
Beverley is a decent shooter.
While my split comparison of the two players may indicate that Beverley is the more ideal choice of the two players, Rondo’s upside is still greater simply based on what he’s shown he can do earlier in his career.
If he can go back to playing like an elite point guard, all while doing something about that horrendous jumpshot of his, then all of a sudden, he might show cause for concern for teams who pass on his services.
Even elite point guards can continue to mature and grow as their careers transpire, and Rondo shouldn’t be an exception to this fact just because he won a ring with the Boston Celtics.
While I’m not a fan of the idea of seeing Rondo being traded to the Rockets, I cannot deny the fact that the upside is tremendous.
I think if Beverley were to join the Mavs, he would do well with them because while he doesn’t have championship experience, he brings a championship pedigree from a defensive perspective.
Apr 18, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and Dallas Mavericks guard Rajon Rondo (9) in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Being realistic and brutally honest, I’m inclined to note that the Rockets surpassed expectations this season based on the fact that they went into the playoffs with a depleted roster (health-wise), and taking a gamble on Rondo just doesn’t make sense.
The safer option would be to bring back Beverley and find a suitable backup to play behind Beverley. This would mean the team could then approach the 2015-16 NBA season addressing their needs while making fewer adjustments.
On the other hand, if the Rockets go ahead with the trade, and Rondo somehow fits the mold, the move could pay huge dividends.
Rondo would then give Houston a legitimate “Big Three” in Dwight Howard, James Harden, and Rajon Rondo.
Trevor Ariza would then feel less pressure to come in and be their third go-to option, and with Rondo’s ability to rebound the ball at a high level, the Rockets as a whole would then be a stronger team rebounding-wise. I’m sure Howard would always welcome the idea of not having to gobble up all the rebounds for his team.
Consider this comparison between Rondo and a former NBA point guard in Jason Kidd.
- Both players prefer an uptempo style of basketball.
- Both players prefer to create for their teammates as opposed to getting their own (Harden, Howard, and company would certainly welcome this scenario).
- Both players have uncanny court-vision.
- Both players are well-known for being able to make flashy passes with precision.
- Both players had a history of demanding control over the team, rather than running whatever plays the coach wanted to run.
- Both players were triple-double machines.
- Both players have championship experience.
- Both players couldn’t shoot the basketball for their lives.
Apr 3, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) gets a little help from Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd after running out of bounds in the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
The difference between the two players
- Kidd worked on his jumpshot until it became reliable enough to make him a threat outside the three-point line. Rondo continues to deal with his shooting woes eight years into his NBA career.
- Kidd not only developed his jumpshot tremendously, he mastered the three-point shot and made enough of them to earn the distinction of being 5th on the all-time list for most three-point shots made in NBA history. Rondo has yet to prove his ability to shoot the ball effectively.
- Kidd was a leader on the NBA scene and for Team USA Basketball in his prime and even later in his career. Rondo has yet to show his leadership skills from a maturity standpoint, and has yet to represent Team USA Basketball as a professional athlete (He did represent the 2005 USA Men’s Under-21 World Championship Team in Argentina).
Who Will Be the Starting Rockets Point Guard for 2015-16
If Rondo does join the Rockets, the looming question will then be whether or not his rebounding and playmaking abilities can make up for the fact that he’s not known to be much of a scorer and the fact that his leadership skills are questionable after his disappointing stint in Dallas.
Whichever option the Rockets choose to go with, the starting point guard that will represent the Houston Rockets in the 2015-16 NBA season will have big shoes to fill following the playoff success the Rockets saw in the 2015 NBA Playoffs.
I’ll leave you with some food for thought.
While the chances of Rondo staying in Dallas are next to none, seeing as how I compared Rondo to Kidd, it’s worth noting Kidd didn’t win a championship until the end of his career when he re-joined the Mavs.
In that championship run the Mavs made in 2011, Kidd was asked to defend the best players on opposing teams, and he not only stepped up to the challenge, but he was successful in making things really difficult for the opposition.
I’m hoping Rondo can quickly get his act together and realize he’s got an opportunity to turn things around.
In the words of Rondo’s former teammate Kevin Garnett, “Anything is possible.”
Be sure to stop by Space City Scoop for your daily Houston Rockets fix; here’s two of my recent articles on Terrence Jones and Patrick Beverley:
Next: Terrence Jones Year End Review
Next: Patrick Beverley Year End Review
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