Just as I feared the NBA decided to keep on its dangerous path of cutting the competing teams down to only single digits. Still making it possible for teams to go after multiple stars and create their own all-star team is going to put some other teams at a real disadvantage and a tough spot. So with that said you now have to look at your favorite team and wonder if they can draw 2 or 3 star players to keep your team relevant and in your state. I am against this move by the NBA because you have 30 teams in the NBA and could have only 5 of them or so will be competing year after year and that will make the NBA boring and more predictable than it already is.
So can Rajon Rondo be the main guy for the Celtics and draw in 2 other star players and lead the Boston Celtics to 18? Can Rondo develop a respectable shot, preferably 3 point shot, and free throw percentage? From the perspective of a shooter, yes he can draw in other players and at least attempt to lead a charge to banner 18. With that being said, can he draw in stars and not just average to above average talent? That I don’t know, it is possible but the chances might be better to draw in highly sought after talent if you had a better scorer at the helm, that way it doesn’t all fall onto their shoulders. As much as players want the ball, more chances to shoot and score and someone who is more than willing to dish it to them, they also want to win. So having a pass-heavy PG on your team puts a lot on the shoulders of the other guys on the team to score and get to the line and do it consistently and efficiently.
So can Rondo develop a jump shot and become a respectable threat to score? Maybe, but he has to work hard at it. The issue now is he is surrounded by Hall Of Famers and might not feel the need to work on it as much as he should and might not work on it until he is “the man” and he is forced to but will it be too late by then? I think of Rondo and I can’t help but think of Jason Kidd and that they are a little alike because both were pass-heavy PG’s who couldn’t shoot but Kidd worked on his shot and has a 3 point shot that has become respectable and one you must defend. Rondo has been worse in his first five seasons at the free throw line than Kidd was and that might be a reason, although Kidd was not Mr. Automatic either in his first five seasons. Rondo’s first five seasons he is about an average of 62% and Kidd was about 68% in his first five seasons. It is possible that he could develop a shot but the questions are always going to be there until he does and the questions hold some value and have weight to them.
The other question is whether or not Rondo was just a product of the Big 3 and not a real talent but I think that is wrong, Rondo is a very talented player and unique and earned his all-star votes. The Celtics are better with him on the team and it would be hard to see him in another uniform but it could happen because Danny wants to be the GM of the Celtics for a long time and waiting for Rondo to eventually develop a dangerous 3 point shot or jumper is just not a risk he might want to take. Would I if I was Danny, wait for Rondo to develop a jumper? No, probably not but I might pull him into my office with Doc and mention that the weight is on him more than ever to become a scoring threat and field calls from teams interested in him. Danny is a smart GM and will do what it takes to win and it sometimes requires trading away players he likes so to try to improve the team.
The thing that you do not want to do if you’re running a team is rent a player by giving up an all-star player. You do not want to trade Rondo to the Hornets for Chris Paul just so Paul can leave Boston next off-season and go to New York and now you are stuck without an all-star player at all. With all the positives and negatives from all of this I think in the end you must keep Rondo and go forward with him for better or worse and see how it plays out. Of course you take calls for him and try to get a young star here to help the Big 3 scoring but you also must remember that Rondo has some great speed and plays better with an open court, running the floor and could be a better PG with young guys surrounding him verses older players. However the Celtics are on the edge of rebuilding and like every other team want Dwight Howard and what is one way to draw him to your team? Chris Paul. Plus if you do grab Howard you almost don’t want Rondo on your team cause now you have two players who are horrible at the line, so do you want 2 out of your starting 5 to be targets for intentional fouls at the end of the game? Definitely not.
Even with all the excitement leading into this season and the potential for some weird and good deals via trade to happen I am still not sure if I’ll watch it. It’s just sad that a team, to stay away from years of mediocrity, has to trade or at least attempt to trade a player who is a very talented star. Current Big 3 getting old? No problem! Trade away the young pieces you have developed and get another Big 3 as soon as possible or be ready for some changes. I don’t know about anyone else but sometimes I forget who some of the other NBA teams are just because they’ve never been a contender, that’s sad.