For the first time in seven years, the Boston Celtics could have a new man handling the point guard duties.
While the Celtics remain adamant that Rajon Rondo will not be traded, others believe the writing is on the wall for the four-time All-Star. The team’s drafting of Marcus Smart creates an apparent logjam at point guard, where the 28-year-old Rondo is entering his final season under contract.
Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge contend that Rondo and Smart, dynamic players whose skills extend beyond that of most “pure” point guards, can co-exist. But keeping Rondo is not simply a basketball decision. Rondo is entering his prime and will be looking for a raise from the $12.9 million he is scheduled to make in the 2014-15 season.
Smart is both younger and cheaper. In the NBA, that is often all it takes for a team to decide to move on from its current star.
With the Celtics’ courting of Kevin Love appearing to hit a dead end, Rondo could be on the move. Even if Rondo does go, though, coach Brad Stevens might not hand the job directly to Smart. Stevens could opt to make second-year player Phil Pressey the starter at first, allowing Smart to ease into the role.