Rajon Rondo to Bulls: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured Columnist

Sacramento Kings' Rajon Rondo (9) shouts at the team bench as they play the Dallas Mavericks in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Dallas. The Kings won 104-101. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Point guard Rajon Rondo cashed in on July 3, agreeing to a deal with the Chicago Bulls. The team announced Rondo officially signed on Thursday.

Marc J. Spears of ESPN's The Undefeated reported the contract is a two-year, $28 million deal.

“We are very excited to add Rajon to our organization," Bulls general manager Gar Forman said in the Bulls' release. "He is a tremendous competitor and a championship-level player. He is a battle-tested veteran who has been an All-Star and NBA champion. He is a terrific distributor and playmaker who we feel be a great addition to our team.”

Rondo called Jimmy Butler, recently added Dwyane Wade and himself "three alphas" but said the Bulls are "Jimmy's team," per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

Rondo was fantastic in his lone season as a member of the Sacramento Kings, averaging 11.9 points on 45.4 percent shooting and a league-best 11.7 assists per game. He split the 2014-15 campaign between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks, averaging only 8.9 points and 7.9 assists per contest in what wound up being one of the worst years of his career.

Rondo made the All-Star team every season from 2009-10 through 2012-13 with the C's. While he didn't earn that honor with the Kings in 2015-16, his per-game stats could have put him into consideration had the Kings been more successful.

It was difficult to know what to expect out of Rondo last season after the Mavs shut him down in the playoffs the previous year, but he often showed flashes of the player he was while leading Boston to an NBA title.

That didn't translate to a great campaign for the Kings from a wins-and-losses perspective—they finished the regular season 33-49but he earned praise from many, including former Kings associate head coach Chad Iske, according to Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post (h/t Shahbaz Khan of the Kings' official website): "He's got such leadership qualities. He sees the angles. He sees the shots that are going to open up ahead of time because he knows what's going to open up."

Despite Rondo's bounce-back campaign, there was still some skepticism regarding his value heading into free agency. ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon lumped him in with some less heralded free agents at the position:

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon

Mike Conley is clearly top PG on market. D-Will is in second tier with Rondo, Lin and Clarkson (restricted). He'll get a nice raise.

Rondo isn't without his flaws, particularly as a shooter. He converted only 58 percent of his free-throw attempts in 2015-16, although his three-point shooting percentage was easily the best of his career at 36.5 percent.

His strength lies in breaking down defenders with his aggressiveness and finding the open man, which worked well for him in Sacramento last season. Bulls star Jimmy Butler should be excited to play alongside a pass-first point guard like Rondo. 

DeMarcus Cousins and Rondo formed a dangerous inside-outside combination even in the face of turmoil, with since-fired head coach George Karl struggling to mesh with his players. While Rondo had synergy with Cousins, he ultimately decided to join the Bulls, who will be his fourth team in three seasons, rather than re-sign in Sacramento.

There is undoubtedly some risk involved on Chicago's end, especially after the manner in which Rondo's tenure with the Mavericks ended, but if he performs at the same level he did in 2015-16, he could prove to be a worthwhile investment.

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