As the 2012 NBA Playoffs become more captivating each night, the past rumors of the Boston Celtics trading Rajon Rondo seem more absurd. The star point guard can undoubtedly be the centerpiece of a future Celtics team, after the Big Three is split up.
Rondo has been amazing in the postseason, especially the Eastern Conference finals against Miami. He's put up consecutive outstanding performances, consistently outperforming the other point guards in the NBA.
Averaging 16.8 points, 11.9 assists and 6.7 rebounds in this year's postseason, Rondo is easily the most valuable player in Boston. On a team with future Hall of Fame veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, somehow Rondo still manages to be the most important person on the Celtics.
It's very likely that the Celtics' roster will undergo major changes come next season. Predictably, the Big Three era is coming to a close. In fact, there are even rumors circulating the NBA that Garnett may retire after the 2012 NBA season.
However, Celtics fans don't need to worry about the status of their team for one second. As long as Rondo is the starting point guard, Boston will always have an advantage over other teams. He's the ideal centerpiece for the future of the team.
The 26-year-old point guard is arguably the most consistently versatile player at his position, even more than Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra couldn't help but admit how amazingly unstoppable Rondo is. After Rondo's Game 2 performance of a lifetime, Spoelstra talked about searching for ways to contain the explosive star.
"You have to take a step back, you have to watch the film a couple times," Spoelstra said. "It's a dangerous thing. He's most dangerous when he's getting to the rim and obviously getting other people involved. You also don't just want to give him free-throw line, warm-up shots."
Spoelstra is right. Rondo's ability to get everyone involved is one of his most dangerous skills, as well as the reason why any Celtics team with Rondo will be successful.
He's the league's best distributor, leading the NBA in assists during the postseason with 11.7 per game and 203 total. To put that number into perspective, the next player on the list is Chris Paul with 7.9 assists per game and 87 total.
Rondo's court vision is so above-average that sometimes it's hard to believe he's human. The point guard will always find opportunities for his teammate to score, like his spectacular pass to Paul Pierce in Game 5.
Not only is Rondo fantastic at dishing out dimes, but he debuted a beautiful jumper in this year's playoffs. In previous seasons, the main criticism of Rondo was his inability to shoot. However, in recent weeks, his jump shot finally started to fall, and boy, is it lovely. Now, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for Rondo to pull up for a three-pointer as the shot clock expires...and actually make it.
In a matter of weeks, Garnett and Allen could be gone. Pierce, a career-long Celtic, is also dragging along injuries caused by aging legs.
The good news for Celtics' general manager Danny Ainge is that under the Big Three, Rondo has developed into a brilliant playmaker. After Boston's Big Three era is long gone, one constant will remain: Rondo will continue to dominate the NBA and lead whatever team is built around him.
Head coach Doc Rivers signed a five-year contract extension last May to remain in Boston through the 2015-16 season. While only four Celtics are currently under contract for next season (Rondo, Pierce, JaJuan Johnson and Avery Bradley), the Celtics will have plenty of roster space and cap room to make major moves.
Despite the trade rumors from earlier in the season, Ainge has to be feeling pretty good about building his future team around Rondo.
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