The Chicago Bulls may be about to blow it all up.
Sam Amick of USA Today reported that, in light of the Jimmy Butler trade, the Bulls have not yet approached Rajon Rondo about a buyout, but it is “a possibility.”
No discussion yet of a Rajon Rondo buyout with the Bulls after the Jimmy Butler trade, I'm told, but it's clearly a possibility.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 23, 2017
In addition, despite earlier reports, Dwyane Wade will opt into the second year of his deal and take his $24 million.
Dwyane Wade is still taking his player option for $23.8 million next season, according to sources. The Jimmy Butler trade affects nothing
— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) June 23, 2017
The Bulls will have some decisions to make. Rondo has a team option with a $3 million buyout, while Wade has no interest in being part of a rebuilding effort at this stage of his career. The Bulls are clearly trending that direction, though, so there will be a lot of talk about buyouts and trades in the days and weeks to come.
There was some brief optimism on Tuesday that Rajon Rondo may be able to play in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics, but the Chicago Bulls point guard is not ready to return.
After having another X-ray on his fractured right thumb Tuesday night, Rondo said Wednesday that he is still a no-go.
Rondo said he's not playing tonight. He had another x-ray last night. Bone is still the same.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) April 26, 2017
Rondo: "I think I'm Wolverine but it hasn't actually healed."
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) April 26, 2017
The Bulls could desperately use Rondo back, as they were a totally different team in Game 3 and Game 4 after jumping out to a 2-0 series lead with Rondo on the floor. With Game 5 in Boston and the Celtics having stolen back momentum, Chicago could be in serious trouble.
Rajon Rondo will try to play in Game 5 of the Chicago Bulls’ playoff series with the Boston Celtics, according to a report.
Rondo injured his thumb during Game 2 of the Bulls’ series and has missed the last two games, both losses for Chicago. He was initially expected to miss a few weeks with a fractured thumb, but the point guard had his cast removed and was seen attempting some shots on Tuesday.
The Vertical’s Shams Charania now reports that Rondo will try to play in Wednesday’s playoff game.
Vertical Sources: Chicago's Rajon Rondo preparing to attempt to play in Game 5 against Boston. Final decision TBD, but there's chance.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 26, 2017
Rondo was a major factor in the two playoff games in which he participated. If he’s able to play in Game 5, that could potentially give Chicago a major boost.
The first-round series is tied 2-2.
The NBA apparently did not believe Rajon Rondo’s explanation for why he stuck his leg out near a Boston Celtics player during Game 3, as the Chicago Bulls point guard has been fined $25,000.
The league announced on Sunday that Rondo has been fined for attempting to trip Jae Crowder in the first quarter of Chicago’s loss to the Celtics.
Rajon Rondo fined $25,000 for Jae Crowder trip attempt. pic.twitter.com/IKNO4vWVwl
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) April 23, 2017
Rondo, who is out indefinitely with a fractured thumb, stuck his leg out while sitting on the bench after Crowder made a shot near the baseline. You can see the video here. Rondo later claimed he was simply stretching his legs, which he does from time to time since he once had surgery to repair a torn ACL.
The Celtics and Bulls will face off for Game 4 on Sunday evening.
Rajon Rondo was caught on video appearing to trip an opponent during Friday night’s playoff game between the Celtics and Bulls, and his explanation will blow you away.
The Chicago point guard, who is out with a thumb injury, was asked about the attempted trip after the game. His explanation was that he was just stretching out:
Bulls' Rajon Rondo denies trying to trip Celtics' Jae Crowder from the bench: "When you tear an ACL, your leg gets stiff on you." pic.twitter.com/OAjkWXYLTK
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 22, 2017
Here’s video of the trip. It’s interesting that he didn’t even deny it.
Rondo’s Bulls lost the game 104-87 but still lead the series 2-1. We’ll see if the league buys his explanation or if they end up fining him instead.
The Chicago Bulls have been dealt a major blow after getting off to a great start in their playoff series against the Boston Celtics, as Rajon Rondo will be sidelined indefinitely with a thumb injury.
The team announced on Friday that Rondo suffered a fractured thumb, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the point guard will not need surgery.
Rajon Rondo will not need surgery on his fractured thumb, but he is out for tonight's Game 3 and indefinitely.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 21, 2017
Rondo’s absence could drastically change the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. While he has had his struggles during the regular season, Rondo lately has looked closer to the player who helped the Celtics win a championship in 2008. He had 12 points, six assists and eight rebounds in Chicago’s Game 1 win before posting 11 points, nine rebounds and a whopping 14 assists in Game 2.
The Bulls could have to alter their offensive approach without Rondo. He had looked like a true floor general in the first two games.
- Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo has a long history of stepping things up in the playoffs, and though most of the current members of the Boston Celtics weren’t with the organization with the point guard, they’re wary of what he can do.
Rondo has had an uneven season with the Chicago Bulls, but the current crop of Celtics, who are set to face him in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, know the lore and are expecting the best from Rondo.
“I’m a fan of the game. I know, whether he tries it or not, those big games he’s always gonna be ready for them,” Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas said Friday, via ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. “He’s always gonna play his best [in big games]. And that’s just me watching him when I was younger and before I got in the NBA. You know, when it counts, he’s gonna be ready and he’s gonna perform. So we’ve got to slow him down and eliminate what he does best, and that’s getting everyone involved.”
Avery Bradley, the only Celtic who has been around long enough to have played with Rondo, concurred.
“Rondo’s like my brother. On the court, off the court, we’re brothers,” Bradley said. “It’s weird playing against him, going up against him, but I think I said it last game: I know he’s a true competitor and he’s going to bring his best game in the playoffs. So it’s going to be fun playing against him. Weird but fun.”
Rondo had a tumultuous season, averaging 7.8 points and 6.7 assists in a modest 26.7 minutes per game. He’s barely played in the playoffs since 2012, with only a brief stint with Dallas that saw him sent home early since then. His reputation precedes him, but he may struggle to live up to it.