Rajon Rondo can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 NBA season, which means the Boston Celtics need to decide soon whether to trade him or try to re-sign him and risk him leaving for nothing.
According to ESPN Boston’s Jackie MacMullan, the Celtics’ only choice might be to trade him.
MacMullan said during a recent behind-the-scenes video from ESPN program “Around the Horn” that Rondo “has told (the Celtics) he wants out.” MacMullan also said Rondo would not sign long term with the Sacramento Kings if they acquired him via trade. The Kings have been involved in a few rumors surrounding the All-Star guard.
At 28 years old, Rondo is in the prime of his career, and he probably doesn’t want to go through a few more seasons of a rebuild, which the Celtics are doing. He already suffered through a rebuild early in his Boston career.
Rondo missed about half of the 2013-14 season after recovering from ACL surgery, and he averaged 11.7 points, 9.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game in 30 contests. When healthy, he’s arguably a top-three point guard in the league as an elite playmaker and an excellent perimeter defender. But given his recent injury history, Rondo’s trade value likely is at an all-time low.
Luckily for the Celtics, they took Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart with the No. 6 pick in the 2014 NBA draft, and the early indication from summer league and USA Basketball camp is that the former All-American is the real deal. If Smart has a great rookie season as a point guard, Boston might be more willing to deal Rondo before the February trade deadline.