If the Dallas Mavericks really are the most ardent pursuers of Rajon Rondo, they’re not doing a good job of playing coy. Hours after a report emerged that the Boston Celtics point guard would be “open” to re-signing with Mark Cuban’s team, the Mavs followed Rondo on Twitter.
How does the saying go: where there’s social media smoke there’s fire?
Adding fuel to the growing notion that Rondo is most likely bound for Dallas is that the Houston Rockets are still exploring other long-time trade targets. ESPN’s Marc Stein says that Daryl Morey prefers adding the Phoenix Suns’ Goran Dragic to Rondo:
That makes sense from a fit perspective. Rondo needs the ball in his hands to thrive, and James Harden isn’t the type of player you want using fewer possessions. Dragic isn’t only more willing to play nominal off-guard, but he’s a far better shooter than Rondo. His superior size would even allow Kevin McHale to play a perimeter triumvirate of Pat Beverley-Dragic-Harden on occasion, too.
We’re actually not too keen on the prospect of Rondo joining the Mavs, either. Dallas is so dominant on offense precisely because of the attention every player on the floor commands. Monta Ellis and Jameer Nelson are no marksmen, but completely viable threats from both mid-range and beyond the arc. Rondo? Not quite.
The effect of Tyson Chandler as pick-and-roll dive man could be mitigated by giving Rondo the ball, too. He’s hardly the finisher that Ellis is on the interior, mostly because he’s afraid to get fouled. His man would surely commit extra attention to Chandler in any ball-screen situation, daring Rondo to finish the play with a shot.
The Mavericks are playing beautiful basketball, and though Rondo’s defensive ability would be an obvious upgrade, his present impact on that end doesn’t match his reputation. That could change when playing for a contender, but there’s also the fact that he’s nearing 30 years-old and has sustained multiple serious injuries.
If Dallas acquires Rondo and takes a step back offensively and a smaller one forward on the other end, will it be worth it? We’re dubious. Of course, there’s also the chance that Rondo’s passing wizardry, Rick Carlisle’s scheming, and the all-encompassing influence of Dirk Nowitzki renders that concern totally moot. We won’t know for sure either way until we Rondo wearing blue and silver.
And if the most recent signs are any indication, that time could come very soon.
What do you think?
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