NBA scout: I would take 39 point guards over Rajon Rondo

Rajon-Rondo-Improved-ShootingRajon Rondo reminded everyone this week of why he is not the most popular player in the NBA. The Boston Celtics guard reportedly skipped a team trip to Sacramento without permission to remain in Los Angeles for his birthday. Those who have followed Rondo’s career were not stunned by the news, which says a lot.

Prior to tearing his ACL last season, Rondo was widely considered to be one of the best point guards in the NBA. He is a below-average shooter but has the ability to take over a game and get all of his teammates involved offensively. His attitude has a tendency to rub people the wrong way, but does that make him one of the worst point guards in the NBA?

On Thursday, ESPN.com posted an article about the most overrated and underrated players in the NBA. One anonymous Eastern Conference scout slammed Rondo. Deadspin shared part of the Insider column with us:

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Rajon Rondo skipped team trip without permission?

Rajon-Rondo-CelticsBoston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo still needs a maintenance day every now and then as he continues to recover from ACL surgery. He has not played in games on consecutive nights since returning last month, and that trend continued when he missed Saturday’s game against the Sacramento Kings after playing 34 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers the night before.

The issue with Saturday is that Rondo remained in LA instead of traveling to Sacramento with the team. According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, he did so without permission.

“I plan on talking to Rondo when he gets back into town,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said on Monday. “I’ll find out more about what went into it, and then we’ll handle it internally. We handle all of those kind of issues internally.”

Sources reportedly told Bulpett that Rondo, who turned 28 on Saturday, remained in LA for a birthday celebration.

“His wife and kids were with him in LA, and there were some other people who came in,” one source said. “I think he felt obligated to them, too, and what they had planned for his birthday.”

Rondo knew he would have the day off against the Kings, so it’s not as if he skipped an actual game. However, the team could discipline him for skipping an obligation without consulting anyone. After Monday night’s loss to the Utah Jazz, Rondo brushed the issue aside.

“We already talked about it,” he said. “There’s nothing to talk about.”

Ainge’s comments about speaking to Rondo when he gets back to Boston came after Rondo’s assertion that there is nothing to talk about, so there may be more at play than meets the eye. Maybe he just needed a day off after hearing his name attached to trade rumors all last week.

Brandon Bass jokingly does CPR on Rajon Rondo (GIF)

Rajon-Rondo-CPRRajon Rondo appears to be getting his legs back underneath him, and the result has been two-straight victories for the Boston Celtics. Rondo scored 19 points and shelled out 10 assists in a win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday for his first double-double of the season. He then flirted with a triple-double (8 points, 11 assists, 9 rebounds) in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

Had it not been for Brandon Bass and his medical expertise, the Celtics may have lost Rondo during their win at Washington. When Rondo fell to his back in an attempt to draw a foul, he laid on the court for a few seconds. Bass came over and gave his teammate a few chest compressions and Rondo popped right up.

Bass saw a fallen man and acted quickly. For that, we commend him.

GIF via @MrTrpleDouble10

Celtics reportedly expected to trade Rajon Rondo

Rajon-Rondo-CelticsMost Boston Celtics fans would not be pleased if Rajon Rondo was traded, but that does not mean it won’t happen. Rondo is the only piece remaining from Boston’s 2008 championship team, and he is currently team president Danny Ainge’s most valuable player — both in terms of skill and what he could bring back in a potential trade.

According to the NY Daily News, multiple general managers around the NBA believe the Celtics will be looking to deal Rondo either at the February trade deadline or closer to the NBA Draft after the season ends. He returned to action on Friday night against the Los Angeles Lakers after recovering from a torn ACL.

[Related: Knicks reportedly hoping to land Rajon Rondo]

Ainge is clearly focused on stockpiling draft picks, as evidenced by the recent three-team trade that sent Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Golden State Warriors with the Celtics picking up two more draft picks. They currently have 17 picks over the next five seasons, and Rondo could bring another first rounder if he proves he is fully recovered.

Rondo has already gotten a taste of championship basketball, so it seems unlikely that he will want to stick around for the type of rebuilding project the Celtics have taken on. He has one year and $13 million remaining on his contract after this season. Rookie head coach Brad Stevens might be better off starting from scratch with a player who is less established. Ainge has to know that.

H/T Eye on Basketball

Knicks reportedly hoping to land Rajon Rondo

Rajon-Rondo-CelticsThe New York Knicks are heading in the wrong direction, and something drastic needs to be done if they want to keep Carmelo Anthony after this season. Anthony can opt out of his current deal when the season ends. There is no reason why he wouldn’t, though he has previously stated that he does not intent to leave New York in free agency. You have to wonder if his feelings will change if the Knicks miss the playoffs.

Bringing another star player to New York would certainly help the Knicks convince Anthony to stay. Could that player be Rajon Rondo? During the offseason, reports indicated that Carmelo was trying to convince the Knicks to trade for Rondo when it became clear that the Boston Celtics were blowing up their roster. Danny Ainge has said on numerous occasions that he plans to build around Rondo and not trade him, but he could be lying.

On Wednesday, ESPNNewYork.com’s Brian Windhorst reported that Rondo is still a priority for the Knicks. The Celtics point guard is no sure bet to return to action from an ACL injury before the Feb. 20 trade deadline, and he has just one year remaining on his contract after this season. Boston may be better off trading him now and capitalizing on New York’s apparent desperation.

Even if the Celtics don’t want to trade Rondo, Windhorst cited sources who claim the Knicks are hoping Rondo will pull the same move Anthony pulled in 2011 when he was traded to New York from the Denver Nuggets. Carmelo basically forced his way out of town, and it’s not inconceivable that Rondo would do the same.

If Rondo remains in Boston this season and next, the Knicks do not have to give up on him. They have the cap space to sign Rondo and another free agent from a pool that could include Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, Roy Hibbert and Tony Parker in 2015.

New York has options, but keeping Anthony is priority No. 1. We already know Carmelo wants to play with Rondo. The ability or inability to pry Rondo away from the Celtics could help determine Anthony’s future in the Big Apple.

Rajon Rondo went to Game 2 of the World Series and froze his a– off

Rajon Rondo Red Sox

So Steve DelVecchio told me it’s been cold out in Boston and that Game 2 wouldn’t have been a fun night to attend because of the weather. This picture definitely confirms it.

That’s Rajon Rondo — or what’s left of his face after he covered it up with a hood and beanie-looking face warmer thing — at Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night. Rajon was sitting on top of the Green Monster in left field, which probably exposed him to more of the cold since it’s higher up and there were so few people surrounding him. Worst part of all? The team lost. How much does it stink to spend all this time outside freezing your butt off only to see your team lose?

If a dog like this can tough it out, I guess Rondo should be able to handle it.

Photo: Twitter/Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo could miss first month of the season

Rajon-Rondo-CelticsThe Boston Celtics will have an entirely new look when the 2013-2014 season tips off. Veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry have all moved on to the Brooklyn Nets. In addition, the timetable for Rajon Rondo’s return from ACL surgery remains unclear.

Rondo is expected to be the leader of the Celtics and the core of the franchise. Naturally, many are wondering how he is going to get along with new head coach Brad Stevens. According to CSNNE.com’s A. Sherrod Blakely, we may not find out until after the first month of the season.

[Related: Rajon Rondo sounds interested in playing for Brad Stevens]

When listing his potential starting five for the Celtics’ regular season opener, Blakely speculated that Rondo could miss about a month before returning. Rondo suffered a torn ACL on Jan. 25. We have all seen how long it has taken Derrick Rose to recover from a similar injury, so it would be a surprise if Rondo is fully recovered less than a year after blowing out his knee.

Boston GM Danny Ainge insists the team is not going to tank games and rebuild. If that’s the case, the first month of the season could be important for Stevens to set the tone. Ideally, Rondo won’t miss more than a month. The Celtics will have enough trouble winning games as is with their revamped roster, let alone trying to keep their heads above water without their best player.