Rajon Rondo reportedly requested a trade from the Boston Celtics but soon refuted those claims after they surfaced over the weekend. Boston has been demanding the world in return for Rondo, whose value has fallen off a cliff in recent years. The Los Angeles Lakers could definitely use the All-Star point guard, but sending Julius Randle to acquire him would be a potentially disastrous gamble.
Rondo is an elite passer and defender and would solve a lot of the Lakers’ issues on both ends of the court. For the right price, his presence could immediately lift them into legitimate playoff contention, whereas right now the postseason is more of a distant dream. Bringing Rondo in would be a gamble to try to piece together one last title push before Kobe Bryant’s impending retirement.
The deal would probably involve Jeremy Lin’s expiring contract, Randle and the first-round pick they acquired from the Houston Rockets. Sending away Randle before knowing what he might bring could be devastating to both the Lakers’ current and, more importantly, future aspirations. If the Lakers make that trade and Rondo is not the player he once was or gets hurt once again, fans can kiss any chance Bryant had at a sixth title goodbye.
Rondo is coming off two consecutive seasons playing less than 40 games, and his games played have declined the last four seasons, going from 81 in 2009-10 to 30 last year. His time spent off the court is a major reason why the Celtics struggled so mightily last season. The injuries incurred have definitely been of the freak variety but are worrisome all the same.
One also has to wonder what Rondo might bring to the table when not surrounded by hall of famers. He was at his very best while playing alongside Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, as most would be. Even during those years, Rondo’s shooting struggles were a great hindrance during playoff runs. His passing is by far his best quality, but if whoever is receiving said passes can’t finish, Rondo’s value is greatly diminished.
Randle remains the Lakers’ only real asset and link to the foreseeable future moving forward. Sending him to Boston for a diminished or injured Rondo not only affects their ability to compete this year; it would be devastating to their rebuilding efforts.
Anthony F. Irwin is an NBA, NFL, MLB and NCAA Football contributor for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Send him an email at Anthony.F.Irwin@gmail.com.