The New York Knicks have four players under contract for next season which gives them $28 million in cap space to spend during free agency this year – it doesn’t have to all be spent this summer. There are many high-profile players in this year’s class and as you would expect Phil Jackson will make a run at several players. The players available are very attractive but some player’s stock has dramatically decreased. Rajon Rondo is at the top of that list.
Rajon Rondo was traded from the Boston Celtics to the Dallas Mavericks and it ended up being a complete disaster Rick Carlisle’s team. Prior to the trade the Mavericks were 19-8 but after the trade Dallas went 31-24. The Mavericks were shaping up to be a contender in the Western Conference but they ended up being just another team that won some and lost some.
Here are the reasons why the Knicks should pass on Rondo (no pun intended):
Rajon Rondo is notorious for his disgusting attitude. This is highlighted by former Celtics head coach, Doc Rivers, labelling Rondo as un-coachable. Rondo’s poor attitude was a large contributor as to why Ray Allen left for South Beach. Rondo is player that when things don’t go his way he just complains and complains some more. And the former Wildcat isn’t afraid of voicing this to the media. This creates plenty of friction and frustration in the locker room and it does translate on the court, an example would be freezing a teammate.
What’s really frustrating from a coaches perspective is that Rondo argues every call with the referee and he constantly tries to intimidate them – he once head-butted a referee in Atlanta. I can’t imagine how Rick Carlisle feels, Rondo bickers about every call, even the obvious ones, and he gets technical fouls that could have been easily avoided. He’s truly a coach killer.
His Own Agenda
It’s obvious that Rondo doesn’t like being told what to do, Rick Carlisle knows all about it. The 29-year-old has a tendency to stray from the system and go freestyle. Rondo also believes that he can go out on the basketball court and decided how much he wants to compete, and how hard to play – only thinking of himself, not the team. There are times when he just throws in the towel and waves the white flag making himself a non-factor non-existent on the offensive end. The native of Kentucky has frequent feuds with coaches that make the point that he needs to play team basketball, Rondo loses his cool and explodes with anger directed at the coaching staff. The former Celtic plays in his own bubble and he gets erupts when told to do something.
Effort and Mindset
Rajon Rondo is a magician with the ball. He makes impossible passes, gets to the rim with ease and plays great defense. Well, not anymore really. Rondo’s mindset and effort varies from night-to-night. He has the ability to stuff the stat sheet and be a dominant force but you’ll get inconsistent performances every second game. He goes from being ultra aggressive to being completely passive.
Earlier in the season, Rondo posted 14 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds but in the next game he posted 4 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists in eight more minutes of action. It’s like Rondo has a switch and he just turns it on whenever he feels like it. The 29-year-old is a highly rated perimeter defender but he has games where he just doesn’t try on the defensive. He gives up and plays defense with his hands, not his feet. Rondo will not play two successive games with the same amount of effort.
After the departure of the three future hall of famers in Boston, Rondo has lost the plot. He went from being a composed figure on the court to a foolish player lacking effort. Take game two of the playoffs against Houston as an example. Rondo turned his back on his man who inbounding and he wandered aimlessly around the court leaving Jason Terry uncontested behind the ark. Rondo just can’t seem to focus, after a made bucket he dawdled up the court and got an eight second violation. He also attempted to play ‘in-your-face’ defense but ended up committing foolish fouls. The former Wildcat received a technical foul as he overreacted to nothing – Harden was just standing still and Rondo pushed him no reason.
This also ties in with his attitude, Rondo didn’t at all seem to care about what he’d done. He just left the court and sat down without changing his expression. He was benched 15 seconds into the second half and didn’t see the court again. Rondo just does foolish and silly things that nobody else could do, he creates drama from nothing and overreacts to every situation.
Shooting and Shot Selection
Rajon Rondo is a horrible shooter and his percentages prove it. He shoots 32% from 16 feet, 31% from long range and 37% from the line. Earlier in the season he also was a part of a very exclusive club; the 30 30 club (three pointers and free throws). For a long period Rondo shot a better percentage from three point range than from the free throw line.
He is such a skilled offensive player, but Rondo’s shot selection is mind-boggling. He can get to the bucket with ease but he rarely tries to do so anymore, he is more content shooting mid-range jump-shots which is brick after brick. For a player who struggles immensely as a shooter 42% of his shots come from 16 feet out to the three point line. In the past we have seen ‘hack-a-Rondo’ and it usually benefits the other team as he is erratic from the charity stripe.
In summation, Rondo has a poor attitude toward his teammates, coaches and referees. He also strays away from the team plan and he’s not a fan of being what told to do. Rondo’s effort fluctuates night in and night out, he’ll be aggressive one game and and non-existent the next. Rondo has a tendency to be foolish on the court; unnecessary fouls, pointless technicals and he argues every single call, even if it’s obvious.
The 29-year-old is also a terrible shooter from everywhere on the court, his jump-shot has definitely regressed. Rondo creates tension in the locker room and he’s definitely not a team player.
Rajon Rondo is a cancer. With his worse-than-Dennis-Rodman antics, it’s been confirmed that Rondo wont see the court for the rest of the year. Rick Carlisle has made it clear that Rondo will not be a Maverick next year.
If you’re still not convinced, this will.
Rondo’s statistics when fully healthy:
2012 – 13.7 points per game, 11.7 assists per game, 5.9 rebounds per game, 1.9 steals per game || 45% FG, 65% FT, 35.2 minutes per game.
2015 – 8.9 points per game, 7.1 assists per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, 1.2 steals per game || 42% FG, 39% FT || 32.5 minutes per game
Keep in mind, Rondo is chasing a max contract and it’s not worth paying overpaying him for his frustrating and extremely inconsistent play.
Rajon Rondo didn’t listen to Doc Rivers (championship coach), he didn’t listen to Rick Carlisle (championship coach), so what makes you think he’ll listen to Derek Fisher?