The NBA trade deadline 2012 is getting closer, and Rajon Rondo has been right in the center of a lot of rumors. Whenever the talks shift away from Dwight Howard for a brief moment, Rondo's name is one of the next ones mentioned.
Boston is nearing a crossroads; they will have to transition their roster at some point and get younger in order to remain competitive. Some teams have to hit rock bottom and rebuild through the draft and free agency. Others may decline slightly and simply reload and continue to be solid to legitimate contenders.
The Big Three had a lot of mileage on those old bones when they started playing together. It paid off as Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen helped Paul Pierce bring home a title in 2008. Who was the point guard getting them the ball? A young, raw, green, inexperienced Rajon Rondo.
At that time, the old guys had to whip Rondo into shape, pushing him to be the player they needed him to be for a team that needed to take advantage of its championship opportunity.
Now Rondo is clearly the main cog in the Boston engine. Granted, he can still be up-and-down at times and will never shoot the lights out on a consistent basis. But the dimensions he brings to the game and to the point guard position are unbelievable.
All of the dimensions were on display Sunday against the Knicks as he torched them for 18 points, 17 rebounds and 20 assists. This was his fourth triple-double this season and his third in less than a month. He messed around and joined Wilt and the Big O as the only players to record triple-doubles with at least 15 points, 20 assists and 15 rebounds.
The Big Dipper was 7'1", the Big O is 6'5", Rajon Rondo is 6'1". Let that sink in for a second.
What should Boston do?
It's been well-documented that Rondo can be difficult to get along with and to coach, as evidenced by his repeated clashes with Doc Rivers. He does need to become more mature and tighten up some areas about himself.
Trading him and hoping to get some good pieces to work with going forward is a gamble. Rondo just turned 26. They know what they have with him, and he is still young enough to continue improving as a player and a person.
The Big Three don't have much time left. A young point guard who's willing to give up the rock is an asset and will be very attractive to a lot of free agents. Very attractive.
At the end of the day, it seems like it's better to go forward with him on the roster than to rebuild it without him.