I understand Rajon Rondo is a talented player who plays hard, and has shown tremendous ability on 2 ends of the ball. I understand that he’s an important piece on the Celtic’s 2008 squad, and had some silly lines this past post-season against the Bulls and Magic in the playoffs.
That doesn’t mean he’d be a great fit on the Kings. Actually, I think he’d be a terrible fit other than his defensive ability.
The rumor, according to Chad Ford (I don’t have Insider so I can’t read it, although i don’t really have to to get an idea of what Ford’s point was), via TZ (massive H/T), is that Jason Thompson and the 4th overall pick is what the Celtics are looking to do with a Rajon Rondo trade.
It makes sense for the Celtics. It fills two holes with arguably their easiest to trade talent. Rondo is a quality young player, and I don’t see anybody anywhere arguing that.
But, that’s not the point here. Does acquiring Rondo make the Kings better?
Last season, the Kings had 4 players somewhat near Rondo’s TOV% to USG%. Cedric Simmons (who only got garbage minutes and isn’t going to be back with the Kings, or in the league most likely), Drew Gooden who played one game and was waived to play with the Spurs, the 3rd was Shelden Williams.
The 4th was Beno Udrih.
I repeat. Beno Udrih and Rondo have nearly identical USG% to TOV%. That isn’t bad. That isn’t even awful. That’s criminally retarded that should make you be put in the electric chair for turning it over that much.
Furthermore, why would the Kings eliminate one measure that would help dilute the value of this by trading away Jason Thompson?
So, let’s ignore that part of this for a moment. TZ already covered this (I linked to it up top) by pointing out that Jason Thompson keeps getting put in these trades….as a throw in. He’s not. He already broke that down (extremely well) already. No need to rehash that.
Here’s the thing. As a rookie, in a terrible offensive system, and without some of the best firepower that the Kings had for close to half the season in Kevin Martin, Jason Thompson had a 14.8 % TOV rate.
Spencer Hawes? 15.7% TOV Rate.
These are not good rates. Especially when you factor in their usage.
And these are all significantly better than Rondo’s. The only player on Rondo with a similar USG% to TOV% rate, as I’ve mentioned, is Beno Udrih.
But, here’s what I don’t get. Because of the contract given to Udrih, among other things, you would essentially be paying more money to get a player who might make your offense worse, and by extension your defense, by not being able to take care of the ball, shoot a reasonable percentage, or even do the things he now is being asked to do in Boston?
If Rajon Rondo’s value is in his defense, his excellent rebounding (among the best of all G’s, not just PG’s), his assists/passing (talk about overrated if you turn over the ball at the rate he does–roughly 1 out of every 5 possessions–and for a team that plays up tempo?), and his overall energy, than why would the Kings have to trade a #4 overall pick for that? Why would Boston want to give up such a valuable player if he was that good?
I don’t think Danny Ainge suddenly got stupid. I think he see’s Rondo’s value being at it’s highest peak, and that without the high usage veterans who take far better care of the ball than Rondo playing high minutes as they did this past season (and hell just about anybody else in the NBA of star quality), it’s going to be very difficult to get this kind of trade value for him again. That is unless these improve across the board. Which, could happen.
But, this isn’t what I find really confusing. I get why Chad Ford, or fans of the Kings or Celtics don’t understand this stuff.
What I don’t get is how Rajon Rondo makes the Kings better with what he DOES DO. Last season, a major contention of mine was that even though the Kings weren’t criminally awful turning the ball over, their shot selection stunk. Oh, I haven’t mentioned Rondo’s shooting stats.
They’re worse than his turnover rates. As scary as that is. his eFG% for a G is ridiculously low, around 51%. His TS% is around 54%. That’s not particularly all that high (although it is getting better).
Rondo shoots a terrible % from the line (for a G). He does not shoot 3’s well. He does not shoot 2’s all that well (unless he can beat you off the dribble).
So why would the Kings take a risk on Rondo improving after 3 years of a body of work that suggest improvement, but limited improvement, on one end?
Isn’t Brandon Jennings, or Ricky Rubio, or hell Jonny Flynn or Jrue Holiday just as worthwhile a bet to not put up those type of numbers while doing similar kinds of effect that Rondo brings?
Quite honestly, Jennings or Rubio would be my pick. (I am much more torn these days between picking one over the other. Which, again, if you asked me a month ago, I would have picked Rubio hands down. Today, I think Jennings has just as much chance of reaching his upside as Rubio does. Even with him shooting his mouth off yesterday.)
What I don’t see is a still young, high turnover rate, poor shooting PG who plays in a perfect system to cover his weaknesses, and utilize his strengths, is suddenly more valuable than the 4th overall pick let alone anything else the Kings could offer.
While I appreciate Rondo’s game, and think highly of him, I see him being a poor fit with the Kings given his low shooting %’s, his extremely high TO% rates (for what it’s worth Beno had a similar USG% to TOV% rate in 07-08 too), and the fact he will get a new contract in 2 years. At least with a younger, and draftable PG in this particular draft, it gives the Kings more time to distance themselves from what’s looking like one of the worst decisions of the whole decade to re-sign Beno Udrih, and sort of let that work itself out.
Just. Say. No.