According to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee, the Kings don’t plan on re-signing 30-year-old point guard Rajon Rondo. Before signing with Sacramento, Rondo spent the 2014-15 season with the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks. The falling out between head coach Rick Carlisle and Rondo was just awful, and Dallas quickly moved on from one the NBA’s best passers.
The Kings took a shot on him with a one-year deal for $9.5 million, and Rondo looked like his old self during this past year. Although the Kings finished near the bottom of the West, Rondo had one of the best seasons of his career as he averaged 11.9 points, 11.7 assists, six rebounds, and two steals. He also found a perimeter jump shot that had been lacking throughout his years in Boston, and Rondo knocked down 36.5 percent of his threes this year, a career-high.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all right between the Kings and Rondo. It’s a stigma around pro sports that the Sacramento Kings are one of the most dysfunctional franchises in sports, and Rajon expressed his feelings about the organization, “there were too many distractions on and off the court. The organization as a whole, I don’t think it was together completely. I think as a team you have to want the best for the next man besides you and that wasn’t the case with the Sacramento Kings.”
The tension between DeMarcus Cousins, Rondo, and ex-head coach George Karl led to a lot of uneasiness in the locker room, and that impacted how the players perform on the court. It didn’t show so much on offense because of all the talent they had and the pace they played at, but the lack of chemistry resulted in a downright awful defensive team, and it exposed the flaws that the players had on that end of the floor.
Rondo has taken a step back in defensive ability since his younger days in Boston and the Kings performance on that end was unable to hide it. His anticipation is still top-notch, and quick hands make him a pesky on-ball defender, but it’s hard to gamble when you have no trust in your help.
There is no question that Rondo will find a buyer this summer. He turned around his play in the worst conditions possible, and will thrive if signed by a team that gives him total control of the offense.