Although Rajon Rondo continues to lead the Boston Celtics as their chief floor general and appears here to stay, that didn't appear to be the case this past summer. On June 22, it was reported by Yahoo! Sports that Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge was shopping Rondo as well as Ray Allen to the Detroit Pistons in a deal what would have brought Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Rodney Stucky to Boston. There were questions of Rondo's maturity at the time, and the Celtics were unwilling to give Allen a long-term deal.
A link to the story can be found here: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-celticspistons062209
Although these rumors have appeared to have died down, with both guards apparently staying in Boston for the forseeable future, even the slightest suggestion of Danny Ainge shopping Rajon Rondo is cause for alarm. The role that he plays on this team is impossible to fill, considering everything he brings to the team and the unbelievable things he can do. Here are the top reasons that Rajon Rondo must stay in Boston:
Rajon Rondo in one of the most versatile point guards in the league, and seems to be able to do it all on the court. Not only that, it seems that no opposing point guard can stop him thus far. You can never totally tell what Rondo is going to do with the ball, whether it's taking it to the hole himself, getting it to the low post, or passing it out to the wings.
If you've ever watched Rajon Rondo call plays in any way, whether it be in person or on TV, he never seems to give any hint as to what sort of play he's leaning toward. The defense often can only react to what happens after Rondo gets rid of the ball, and even then, they never appear able to anticipate where the ball is going to go. A few seconds of highlight reel shows that Rondo can make some amazing things happen, all while leaving opponents dumbfounded.
And the crowd at TD Garden will certainly let you know how well he does it.
One of the most overlooked qualities possessed by Rajon Rondo is the way he can make himself bigger than his stats lets on. At 6'1" tall and weighing 171 lbs, Boston's floor general is obviously no Shaquille O'Neal (DUH!). However, in spite of this, Rondo finds ways to make himself big when the situation requires it. Rondo can easily make up the 3'11" between him and the rim and jam it home if Boston finds itself in need of two quick points, as evidenced by his spectacular dunk on Chris Bosh in Miami several nights ago.
The true test of an all-around is if he can defy his size, that is, play smaller if big, and bigger if small. Rajon is definitely able to get big when necessary and find ways around some of the hardest-blocking big men in the league. He finds ways to be both powerful and agile. Post players beware: Rondo can, and will, find ways around you.
Admittedly, this one's a little harder to analyze, as it requires a much deeper look a how a players runs the floor. However, based on what we've seen over the past few seasons, it now seems clear that Rajon Rondo plays a very intelligent brand of basketball. Rondo rarely turns the ball over, and knows when to pass and when to take it himself. He has the ability to gain an instant knowledge of what's the best possible play at any given time, and he knows how best to apply a play to a given situation.Rondo is also clearly not a reckless player, and knows when it's good to push the tempo and when to back off.
The key to all of this efficiency. A smart point guard won't use unnecessary flashiness, and it's only through necessity that showiness is seen. Unlike the Lakers, this is a workingman's team. Highlight reel moves come second. Night in and night out, Rajon Rondo demonstrates that he's one of the smartest point guards in the league, and knows how to effectively run the floor without grabbing the glory for himself.
Anyone who's ever watched a Celtics game with Rajon Rondo at the point can see this. On the court, he can run a quick offense without being so quick as to burn out his teammates. Off the court, he's fiery, even confrontational at times, but he does it in a way that makes everyone around him better. When Rondo hits the floor, the game of the entire squad is elevated, and the Celtics often find a way to either extend their lead or climb back from a deficit.
In a tight jam, Rajon Rondo finds away to get the Celtics moving, whether it be accelerating the offense to push the Celtics ahead, or backing down and spread the ball around to clinch another victory. Whatever it is, Rajon Rondo leads this team every single game, and he's damn good at it, too.
This has to be number one. This is what being a point guard is all about. Being an unselfish and finding any possible way to score. Averaging 10 assists per game, Rajon has shown that he is very much the facilitator-in-chief in Boston, and is more than ready to get his teammates in positions to score.
Some of the prettiest moves ever performed by a Celtic have to involve Rajon Rondo's quick passes to the corners, setting a clutch Ray Allen three-pointer, or a drive to the hoop, only to pass behind him and set up a classic KG slam. Through a skillful running of the offense, Rondo finds opportunities to move the ball, and move it well. No point guard this season has been better at making scoring happen, all through not scoring himself.
Rajon Rondo is quite possibly the single most important component of this Celtics team. His skill as a point guard, along with his intangible ability to lead this team, make him absolutely indispensable. Any trade that Boston orchestrates must keep Rajon Rondo off the table. If he plays in Boston long enough, and his performance remains prolific, No. 9 may very well hang from the rafters of TD Garden.