The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to take the next step after coming mere minutes away from making the playoffs this season.
The year had gone much better than expected, as many thought they would win 20-something games, only to see them claim a 44-38 record.
Cleveland has some aspects of its roster it needs to shore up, and one of them is a veteran point guard, especially one who can come off the bench and help run the team smoothly when Darius Garland is resting.
It acquired Ricky Rubio for that purpose last summer, but he tore his ACL in December, and he was subsequently traded to the Indiana Pacers for Caris LeVert.
Rubio’s injury is the main reason the Cavs traded for Rajon Rondo in early January, and his numbers looked good in his 21 games with the squad.
But he is now 36 years of age, and some wonder if the Cavs should go in a different direction when it comes to plugging their backup point guard hole.
Rondo Has Some Qualities Cleveland Really Could Use
The Cavs are one of the NBA’s youngest teams, and young teams generally aren’t very smart or resourceful, nor do they know how to deal with or stop runs by opponents.
As a 16-year veteran, Rondo looked to help them with those issues.
Once upon a time, he was one of the league’s brightest young point guards, and he played on the Boston Celtics’ 2008 world championship team in just his second season in the pros.
By 2010, he had blossomed as an elite player, averaging 13.7 points, 9.8 assists and a league-high 2.3 steals while being named to the All-Star team and the All-Defensive first-team for the first time.
In the playoffs that year, he was outstanding, and had it not been for the Celtics blowing a 13-point lead in the second half of Game 7 of the NBA Finals versus the Los Angeles Lakers, Rondo would’ve gotten another ring.
Rajon Rondo was a good dude.
— israel (@iohandles) May 16, 2022
Five seasons later, the rebuilding Celtics traded him to the Dallas Mavericks, and he started a span where he played for six teams in five seasons.
During that time, critics claimed that Rondo was washed-up and that he was a toxic influence.
But the Lakers of all teams signed him in the summer of 2018 to help the incoming LeBron James with ball-handling and distributing duties, and together, they won the NBA title in 2020.
Rondo may not be the elite defender he used to be, but he is still a very good floor general and passer, and he has greatly improved his 3-point shot, which used to be his biggest weakness.
This season, he made 39.7 percent of his 3-pointers while with the Cavs, which was a team high.
He Could Still Help, But He Has Hurt His Own Cause
Rondo will be a free agent this summer, and signing him to a veteran’s minimum contract may not seem like a bad idea on its surface.
However, there is the issue of a recent incident he was reportedly involved in.
Rajon Rondo allegedly pulled a gun on the mother of his children.
If this is true, the career journeyman needs to be jailed and banned from the NBA.
— Nick Adams (@NickAdamsinUSA) May 16, 2022
The victim of the alleged incident, his ex-girlfriend, has reportedly received an emergency protective order as a result.
Allegations such as this should always be taken seriously. If Rondo did what he has been accused of, there is no room for that type of influence on a team that should only be focused on positivity and growth.
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