Before the 2009-10 season began, I labeled Rajon Rondo as "an up-and-coming NBA point guard" because (a) he embodies the pass-first, shoot-second mentality - you know, the lost art of running the point - and (b) he is capable of posting a triple-double in any given game.
And yes, I am well aware that Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Jameer Nelson, Derrick Rose, Aaron Brooks, Tony Parker, and inevitably John Wall will play professional basketball for at least the next decade or so.
Regardless, here is my list of the top five current NBA point guards (in order of the greatest): (1) Deron Williams, (2) Chris Paul, (3) Rajon Rondo, (4) Steve Nash, and (5) Tony Parker.
In the next few years, Rose will presumably replace Nash somewhere on that list and Nelson might also make his way onto it (with all due respect to the Frenchman, expectantly in place of Parker).
However, the real question is: What number will Rondo rise (or fall) to in due time?
Right now he lacks a reliable jump shot from 15 feet and out. And while most players would struggle to hide that apparent hindrance, Rondo has not lost a single beat, even when defenders all but leave him wide open in favor of help defense.
If Rondo can become a dependable threat on the perimeter - much like Williams, Paul, Nash, Parker, and Brooks have become - there is no question he will become the most pernicious playmaker at his position.
And here is why: If you take away the ample shooting abilities from Williams, Paul, Nash, Parker, and Brooks, they would all regress into predominantly one-dimensional players, which would impair their potency to make plays.
Rondo's jumper is more or less a joke, yet he has still excelled as one of the premiere point guards in the NBA.