In the nine games since his return from ACL surgery, Boston Celtics’ point guard Rajon Rondo is averaging a mere 9.1 points, 7.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds, playing to a PER of only 14.43, numbers well below his career average (except rebounds).
That was to be expected as Rondo is still on a minutes limit.Jan 28, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (9) takes a shot against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
When he returns to a full workload there is nothing that should prevent Rondo from getting back to being among the top fantasy point guards in the NBA.
Maybe except a change of uniform.
Rondo is the subject of trade rumors and there is no secret that the New York Knicks want him bad.
According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the Knicks “have decided to think big” as the deadline approaches, and believe that the Celtics‘ point guard Rajon Rondo is more available than Boston general manager Danny Ainge is letting on.
Amick also notes that trading Carmelo Anthony is not being given serious consideration, despite all the speculation surrounding his willingness to re-sign this summer.
In addition, Basketball Insiders’ Bill Ingram weeds through the statements about Melo wanting to leave and points out that he wants to win in New York.
That alone has the Knicks’ font office trying to land a star in order to convince Anthony to re-sign with the franchise after this season.
We have the New York Knicks working the phones in an attempt to add another star-caliber player alongside Carmelo Anthony. As much as the media loves to talk about the Knicks dealing Anthony himself, that just isn’t very likely to happen. Anthony wanted to be in New York, which is why the Nuggets worked to send him there in the first place, and his feelings about that haven’t changed.
As a Knicks fan, I would love to see Rondo in blue and orange. However as an owner of Rondo in a couple of leagues, I’m not so sure that a potential trade to the Knicks won’t hurt his overall fantasy value.
The biggest concern is the obvious and that his normal double digit assists games could be a thing of the past.
The Knicks offense is based on guys like Anthony and J.R. Smith holding onto the ball, putting the entire arena to sleep before often chucking up contested jumpers with the shot clock winding down.
Sure the Knicks offense runs much better when it is based on ball movement, a Rondo specialty, but it rarely moves the ball enough for long stretches.
Currently the Knicks rank 24th in the NBA in assists with a mere 20.3 per game, a number that may not increase a whole heck of a lot even with a point guard the caliber of Rondo potentially in the mix.
Some of that is due to having the worst starting point guard in the NBA in Raymond Felton, but a lot of that is due to the Knicks willingness to slow games down and rely on isolation more than any other team in the league.
Rondo will help matters, but in the current Knicks offense I would have a hard time envisioning him among the NBA’s assists leaders.
However there are other concerns as well.
One of which is the fact that a point guard in the Knicks offense has to knock down the three-point shot to have success.
That’s not exactly Rondo’s strength as he has connected on only 29 percent of his attempts from behind the arc since his return and only 24 percent in his career.
As the trade deadline approaches you always have to wonder how a change of scenery will affect each player moved.
Will the Knicks be a better team if they can land Rondo? Absolutely.
Will your fantasy team be better if he is dealt? I have my doubts.
As Ainge spends the next 10 days shopping Rondo, you may want to do the same depending on when the trade deadline is in your league.