The Curious Case of Rajon Rondo
First of all, I'm a huge Boston fan. Rajon Rondo is my second favourite player in the NBA behind Paul Pierce (maybe even 1st since he is still in green).
Currently, Rondo will be an UFA next season. I'm not sure how I feel about resigning him, especially at max money.
He is coming off an injury year, where he played 30 games and averaged 11.7 and 9.8. On his career, he averages 11.1 ppg, 8.4 apg, 4.6 rpg, 1.9 steals, with a .621 free throw percentage. Those numbers don't sound like a guy who should be earning max money.
The numbers that do stand out are these:
17.3 ppg, 11.9 apg, 6.7 rpg, 2.4 steals, .696 FT%, .491 2FG, .267 3FG
These are the numbers Rondo averaged throughout the 2011-12 playoffs, through a total of 19 games.
Now, let's look at 2 more sets of numbers.
15.5 ppg, 11.5 apg, 3.3 rpg, 1 steal, .887 FT%, .548 2FG, .431 3FG
18.8 ppg, 10.5 apg, 4.2 rpg, .8 steal, .921 FT%, .548 @FG, .439 3FG.
These 2 seasons, were the MVP seasons of Steve Nash from 2004-06. Nash is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, so of course Rondo won't be able to match those numbers, but then again, Nash doesn't play a lick of D.
I think if Rondo can produce a line of 17/11/5/2 and improve his slashline to .7/.5/.33, while playing that tenatious D, then he deserves his max money.
Otherwise, I am not sure too many teams would be lining up to offer him the max. The current landscape of the NBA is dominated by the PG position and you could publish a top 10 list of PG in the league and easily come up with over 10 different versions.
I really do love Rondo as a player, I hope he can have a standout year leading the young Celtics to 35 wins (Doubt they can make the playoffs), and then hopefully the development of Sullinger, Bradley, Smart, Olynyk plus 2015 draft pick can help them get into the East playoffs in 2 seasons time.