Since Russell Westbrook‘s injury, the Oklahoma City Thunder are 19-7 and 21-8 overall without the star point guard. In the absence of Westbrook, Kevin Durant has gone on a historic run and has risen in the MVP conversation. This is mainly due to the fact that Durant is simply better without Westbrook on the floor. With that being said, would a pass-first type of point guard like Rajon Rondo be much more suitable for Thunder and their championship hopes?
This rumor goes way back, but the Thunder could essentially trade Westbrook to the Boston Celtics for Rondo and a future draft pick(s).
It’s no secret that Westbrook is a ball-dominant, score-first type of point guard. It’s also no secret that he is an exciting player with great offensive skills. However, with a superstar like Durant on the team, it is actually crippling when another player other than Durant, is taking over 20 shots a game, especially the one running the offense. Not only is Durant better without Westbrook, but the team has shown it is better as well.
The bottom line is, the Thunder are far more superior when Durant is the one taking the shots — not Westbrook. With Rondo, Durant would be able to do what he does best without any hindrance. Not only would he be able to take the shots, but Rondo would create more opportunities for Durant that Westbrook never could.
Rondo is unselfish when it comes to scoring, and can control an offense much more efficiently than Westbrook can. Rondo clearly is at the top of his game when he is playing with big-time scorers. So, why wouldn’t Durant want to play with Rondo, who has a championship under his belt?
Rondo would also make the post players, Serge Ibaka and old friend Kendrick Perkins, much better. He would create scoring opportunities for youngsters like Jeremy Lamb. Reggie Jackson could also play more and gain more scoring possibilities. While Westbrook may take the pressure off of Durant and his scoring responsibilities at times, Rondo will make sure that everyone else around Durant can take on more of scoring load.
Plus, due to his quickness, Rondo has decent scoring ability, but his perimeter scoring is clearly limited. When Rondo penetrates, guess who is left open on the outside.
It seems like the deal makes too much sense, but the Thunder may be afraid of trading such a great scorer. However, they should definitely consider this deal. It’ll make Durant better and benefit their entire team. Trading for Rondo is necessary to improve their championship chances.