Now that the 2014 NBA Draft is behind us, the Boston Celtics have a decision to make about team captain and point guard Rajon Rondo.
Fine, the decision doesn’t have to be made today, but it does have to happen before the trade deadline of this year or next. Marcus Smart and James Young, the latest additions to the Celtics roster, give Boston a lot of depth in the backcourt, something they haven’t had in a really long time when you think about it (Do Kenny Anderson, Tony Delk, Dana Barros, Eric Strickland, eh you get the point…).
Even if both Smart and Young don’t reach expectations, odds are they will provide decent enough play in the coming years. But if the club really likes Smart, which they must because they drafted him above Noah Vonleh and Julius Randle, they are going to listen more seriously to offers for star Rajon Rondo.
Rondo is going to be a max-contract player after his current deal is up, assuming he stays healthy. For some reason I don’t see Ainge giving him that contract if he doesn’t have another star on the squad. The catch-22 is that one of the few ways he can attract a big name is whether they hit the jackpot with a draft pick from a Rondo trade, or perhaps include Rondo in a deal to bring a different superstar to the team.
To me, this could be a costly mistake on the part of Ainge and the front office. Rondo can be the second-best player on a championship team and whatever Boston gets for him wouldn’t be a fair deal. That is most likely why no trade has been made yet and is why we are where we are today. But finally Ainge has a bit of a insurance in terms of talented guards that could help his case.
As the years go on and Jeff Green and Brandon Bass collect their paychecks and move closer to new destinations, Ainge should see that he can dole out a max-deal to Rondo without surrendering the cap flexibility he so desires. When Rondo’s contract is up, Green and Bass should be gone (Green has a $9.2 million player-option, which he could decline assuming he’s healthy), and there is only expected to be $24 million on the books, which includes Gerald Wallace‘s expiring contract.
So please Danny, keep Rondo and give him the deal he wants. Celtics fans love the way he plays and he is an easy player to get behind, well as long as he is on your squad. What do you think?