I am a big Rajon Rondo fan. There is really no other way to describe the appreciation I have for his talent. The idea of him playing for any other team makes my heart break ever-so-slightly. Unfortunately, the NBA is a business that does not run off my emotions. Super stars like Rondo come and go every season all around the league. For the Boston Celtics, the reality that Rondo may not be playing for the green this season or next is becoming all too real.
The Celtics and their fans have experienced great loss over the past couple of seasons. Saying goodbye to Paul Pierce, along with Kevin Garnett as they shipped off to Brooklyn was among that most difficult. The on-going speculation the Rondo will be traded at some point before or during this season is impossible to avoid, despite President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge continuously denying these claims.
If Rondo is traded away, it will be a tough blow, but what can make this kind of departure even more difficult is all dependent on where Rondo will eventually land. Both from a fans perspective and a professional one, I want a fan favorite player to be given the opportunity to win, but not with a team fans hate. It is safe to say that the Los Angeles L akers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, and even the Cleveland Cavaliers are out of the question.
Ultimately, I see Rondo going to the Western Conference. Like Pierce and Garnett, I want Rondo to be given the opportunity to win. The problem is that the West is stacked with the best point guards in the NBA, leaving little room for #9 to be a star. The Clippers have Chris Paul, San Antonio has Tony Parker, and Oklahoma City has Russell Westbrook. As far as competitive teams go, this leaves few options.
Of the teams remaining, the Houston Rockets seem like an ideal place for Rondo to play. The team, led by James Harden and Dwight Howard, has already been able to keep competitive in the talent-full West, and the addition of Rondo could set them up for Championship status over the next couple of years.
In addition to a great cast of players, Houston also has the pleasure of having Kevin McHale, the former Celtics great, as their head coach. McHale understands the Celtic way and could be just the person to ease the hot-headed Rondo into a new basketball environment. As a fan and a professional, this is where I would like to see him end up, if not with the Celtics.
Of course, far more goes into a player-signing than what I believe would be a great fit. If the Celtics trade Rondo away, they will be looking to acquire top-notch talent. Houston will most certainly not be giving up their stars, leaving few options that would trigger the interest of Ainge. Unless a third team were to become involved, I can’t see Rondo playing with Houston, but in an ideal world, he would be given the chance to win somewhere with the same competitive nature as Houston.