Amongst all the trade rumors swirling around the Lakers, the one that Eric Pincus threw out a couple of weeks ago – Rajon Rondo for Pau Gasol – is the still the most intriguing to me. At the time, most “experts” were saying that the rumors were false and the story had no legs. But now, reports from ESPN say that the Celtics are “aggressively pursuing” trades for their “high-maintenance” point guard.
Clashes with coach Doc Rivers have also led to the Celtics souring on their All-Star point guard who is only a few years removed from leading the Celtics to tremendous playoff success. Rivers’ played so many mind games with the media, like his famous “starting five” never losing to anyone, so imagine the kind of mind games he played with his own players to try and motivate them.
Even as Lakers fans, we can all admit that we saw how smart Rondo was in the 2008 and 2010 NBA Finals, so much so that it’s most likely Rondo probably saw right through Rivers’ mind tricks and never respected River’s enough to hold back his thoughts and listen.
Now, we all know that the Lakers have been searching for a point guard for the past few years. Not just any point guard as there are all different kinds:
- Scoring Point Guards: Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook
- Pass-First Point Guards: Jason Kidd, Jeremy Lin
- Defensive Point Guards: Mario Chalmers, Kirk Hinrich
- Play-Making Point Guards: Chris Paul, Deron Williams
Notice where Rondo is – a combination of a passer and a defender. This sounds like the point guard the Lakers are going to need if they’re going to make a run in the playoffs.
The Lakers don’t need a scoring point guard yet because they have Kobe Bryant who is averaging 23.7 field goals attempts a game and even with two bigs down low, shows no sign of letting up.
The Lakers need a play-making guard, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to get one since CP3 is barred from coming to the Lakers, Deron Williams is a Dwight Howard signature away from staying in New Jersey and Chicago would literally start a riot that made the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 look like a campfire if Rose ever left for the Lakers.
All Rondo would have to do is play solid defense to stop the top point guards in the league like Westbrook, Rose and Paul and then set up the bigs and wings for easy scoring opportunities like he did in Boston.
In the last three years, Rondo has averaged 9.8, 11.6 and 9.6 assists per year with the Celtics. Imagine what kind of numbers he could put up with a skilled big men with soft hands and solid offensive game.
Now, the last and most important factor about Rajon Rondo that makes me want him rocking the purple and gold – the kid is a winner. Laker fans saw the way he led the Celtics back to the 2010 Finals with his grit and determination. The guy reminds me of a mini-Kobe Bryant with the way he gets angry at anyone who doesn’t want to win as much as he does. Remember the way he fought in Game 7 of the 2010 Finals with those clutch 3’s from the corner?
With his basketball smarts, defense and play-making abilities plus that will to win that you just don’t find in every player, Rajon Rondo definitely has to be someone the Lakers need to get.