At least one player close to former Celtics guard Rajon Rondo believes a change in scenery was imminent.
“Rondo wanted out, but he would never say that though,” Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kendrick Perkins, a former teammate of Rondo, told Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears. “I’m not happy he is in the West, but I’m happy for him. His time was probably up in Boston. He did his job.”
Interestingly, when the Thunder were in Boston to play the Celtics in November, Perkins said the opposite.
“I think it’s a great place for him. I think he wants to stay here. You know, we talk on a regular basis and I think he should stay. If I was him, I would stay,” Perkins said.
The Mavericks’ acquisition of Rondo sent shockwaves throughout the NBA.
In adding Rondo, the Mavericks — 19-8 and in sixth place in the Western Conference — significantly improved their outlook. They went from playoff team to title contender. That’s the kind of impact the All-Star caliber point guard can bring.
Here’s a look at other reaction to the trade from across the league:
Major addition for them boys. One of fav PGs— Danielson... (@andre) December 19, 2014
Erik Spoelstra: "You can't weigh Rondo's impact with a statistic. It's his fierce competitiveness. That's what you feel when you play him."— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) December 19, 2014
That’s not all Dallas forward Chandler Parsons said about the deal. He elaborated on his thoughts Thursday evening on KESN 103.3 FM.
“To be able to get a guy like Rondo, it’s unbelievable,” Parsons said. “It’s not every day that you can get a point guard of his status and the way he can pass the ball, he’s a difference-maker. It’s tough every night in the West Conference going up against these elite point guards, and just having him up there pressuring and leading our offense is great. I see him fitting very well in our offense.”
The Mavericks are 0-4 against the five teams ahead of them in the Western Conference standings, losing those games by a combined 40 points. Bringing in Rondo — who has averaged 14.5 points, 9.2 assists and 6.0 rebounds over 92 career playoff games — should help that.
Grantland’s Zach Lowe asserts as much.
“We know Rondo has an extra gear when he gives a crap. The Mavs are betting that Playoff Rondo is still in there somewhere, waiting to be unleashed … Playoff Rondo could make a dramatic impact on defense for Dallas as it navigates through Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Tony Parker, Stephen Curry and the rest. Even a semi-comatose Rondo contemplating his next Connect Four session is an upgrade on that end over Jameer Nelson, J.J. Barea, and Raymond Felton.”
The Dallas Morning News’ Tim Cowlishaw wasn’t as optimistic about the sudden improvement Rondo brings.
“How long it takes Rondo to get on the same page with what coach Rick Carlisle likes his point guards to do is a key question … I would be a little more worried about how Rondo and [Monta Ellis] co-exist since Ellis likes to handle the ball a lot and Rondo really can’t do anything without the ball in a half-court offense.
“This team may even take a step backward before it gets where it’s hoping to go.”
But as ESPN Dallas’ Tim MacMahon notes, things should be business as usual for Ellis.
“The Mavs still plan for Monta Ellis to be their primary pick-and-roll ballhandler,” MacMahon tweeted. “Rajon Rondo’s arrival changes spacing, not Ellis’ role.”