#9 RAJON RONDO (PG)
6'1" 170 pounds
Born: February 22, 1986
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Drafted: 21st Overall in 2006 (Phoenix Suns pick; preseason trade to the Boston Celtics)
Years in the League: 2
Rajon was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team for the 2006-07 season.
Longest Playoff Run
Rajon Rondo spent the offseason thinking of ways to help Paul Pierce uplift their young Celtics squad to a respectable level. This plan was interrupted upon the announcement of a draft-day trade for Ray Allen and the blockbuster 7-for-1 deal which brought Kevin Garnett to Boston.
Analysis of 2007-08 Contribution
Rondo's entire outlook for the season changed with these two trades. He no longer was worried about bringing his teammates up to his level, rather his focus was getting ready to lead an elite veteran squad with immediate championship aspirations.
Rajon was quickly labeled a "question mark" by TV pundits and journalists everywhere. The second-year point guard quickly hushed non-believers by relentlessly polishing his game and adding to his skill set at rapid speed.
Skeptics didn't believe Rondo was enough of a scoring threat shooting the jump shot or penetrating to the lane. Working long hours with the coaching staff, Ray Allen, Eddie House, and other teammates, Rajon vastly improved his pull-up jumper.
The addition of the league's most consistent teardrop shot, quelled the fear that 6-foot-1 Rondo in the lane was a shot-blocker's dream come true. Just to keep defenders guessing, he also perfected a silky-smooth behind-the-back fake to his speedy layups.
Chris Paul, an MVP candidate, was effectively shut down by Rondo's defense in the second matchup between the two teams. This was the single best man-to-man coverage on Paul of the season. Rondo's long arms, quick feet, and gifted basketball mind have made him the odds-on favorite to be the point guard on the NBA All-Defense First Team this year.
Rondo entered the season as a question mark and will leave the playoffs as the exclamation point of one of the greatest basketball teams assembled in the history of the league.