Rajon Rondo is a passing savant. The man finds such impossible passing angles that you wonder if he’s living in a Matrix-type world. Defensively, can drive you more insane than an attacking swarm of bees.
Yet for all his strengths, there are also glaring weaknesses. His jumpshot is… actually, I’ll leave it at that. We all know that by now. Beyond a less-than-consistent J, Rondo tends to take passing to stubborn heights, passing up open opportunities to score. He’s also a gambler on defense, often going for steals rather than staying in front of his assignment, which in today’s NBA is often a pretty damn good point guard.
And that’s what you get with savants. You get extremes. And it’s those extremes that make Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge still leave the door open to trading his stud point guard.
But let’s be clear here. Ainge is not shopping Rajon Rondo. He’s only “open to trading him in the right deal.” That’s different. And there’s more to this than any frustration with the deficiencies in Rondo’s game.
Danny Ainge once advocated trading away part of Boston’s original Big 3 because they were getting too old. Ainge has been open to trading Rondo in the past (along with Ray Allen) and has said time and time again that he’ll almost always listen to any offers for any guys. And the Kendrick Perkins trade last season proved he’ll make an unpopular decision if the thinks it’s the right move for his team.
Whether those trades work or not is a different story, but Ainge won’t get caught up in the emotion of a move if he thinks that move is the right one. Rajon Rondo is currently the centerpiece of the Celtics’ future. Trading him away would have to mean getting another centerpiece back, or getting enough maneuverability to sign one in free agency. But as much as Ainge will gamble on a move, he’ll never leave himself uncovered. Rondo will not be “jettisoned”.
And as far as point guards of his caliber go, Rajon Rondo is cheap. $44 million for a guy like him who is locked up over the next four seasons is nothing. That makes him that much more valuable. Ainge won’t just give him away.
Yet, the rumors will persist because Danny is Danny and Rondo is Rondo. The fact is, though, you can say “Ainge listening to offers for [insert name here] if the deal is right.” Rondo just happens to be the guy on the team almost every other team would want. So the rumors will persist, even though there isn’t much to them.