Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo
34-Year-Old GuardG
Los Angeles Lakers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
After one year with the Lakers, Rondo signed a two-year deal over the summer to remain with the team. In 46 games, he averaged 9.2 points, 8.0 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals across 29.8 minutes. Rondo handed out at least 8.0 dimes in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2013-14 and 2014-15, so his ability to still be a high-level passer is encouraging, though inefficient shooting remains an issue for Rondo (40.5 FG%). This season, Rondo figures to take a back seat to LeBron James, who is set to handle starting point guard duties. Rather than force Kyle Kuzma to come off the bench, the Lakers are likely to run James at point and round out the starting five with Danny Green, Kuzma, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Rondo should still see some work with the second unit over Quinn Cook, as the team is in win-now mode, but a downturn in minutes and production seems like a reasonable expectation for Rondo in 2019-20. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $5.18 million contract with the Lakers in July of 2019.
Personal Bio

Rajon Pierre Rondo was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Amber Rondo. He has three siblings: Dymon, William and Anton. Rondo developed an early interest in football, but his mother steered him toward basketball. While growing up, his favorite player was Isiah Thomas. He attended Louisville's Eastern High School for three years, averaging 27.9 points, 10.0 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game during his junior year to earn all-state honors and a selection as 7th Region Player of the Year. He transferred to Virginia's Oak Hill Academy for his senior year and averaged 21.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 12.0 assists per game. Rondo was named to the McDonald's All-American Team in 2004. He also participated in the 2004 Jordan Capital Classic game and was named a second-team Parade All-American. He ended his career as Oak Hill Academy's all-time single-season assists leader with 494 assists. Since joining the NBA, Rondo has made numerous off-court contributions. In December of 2013, he earned the Kia Community Assist Award for his community work. Since his rookie season, he has partnered with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC). During his time with the Celtics, Rondo visited 60 youth from the Home for Little Wanderers, which helps ensure the healthy development of children at risk. He has also spent time with patients at local hospitals, donated time and money to Boys and Girls clubs, and mentored young men in an effort to lead them down a positive path. Learn more about Rondo by following him on Twitter (@RajonRondo) and on Instagram (@rajonrondo).

College/International Summary

Rondo attended the University of Kentucky for two seasons playing for coach Tubby Smith. He was a starter as a freshman and set a Wildcat record with 87 steals, collecting at least one steal in every game. The 6-foot-1 guard averaged 8.1 points and 3.5 assists and helped Kentucky to the Elite Eight. In four NCAA Tournament games, Rondo averaged 11.3 points, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals. Prior to returning for his sophomore season, the guard played in the Under-21 FIBA Championships in Argentina. He provided 11.0 points and 4.5 assists in the tournament. During his sophomore season, Rondo averaged 11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He set another team record with 19 rebounds as a guard in a loss to Iowa. Rondo also helped the Wildcats beat his hometown team of Louisville with 25 points. He grabbed 10 rebounds in the first round NCAA Tournament win over UAB. Rondo declared for the 2006 NBA Draft after two seasons with Kentucky and was chosen with the 21st overall pick by the Phoenix Suns in the 2006 NBA Draft, although that same night he was traded to the Boston Celtics.

Big minute total in loss
GLos Angeles Lakers
September 22, 2020
Rondo finished with nine points (4-10 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 1-3 FT), eight assists, three steals and two rebounds in 30 minutes during Tuesday's 114-106 loss to Denver.
ANALYSIS
Rondo played key minutes down the stretch for the Lakers, almost guiding them to an unlikely victory. After trailing by as much as 20 points, the Lakers rattled off a 19-2 run to get within one basket late in the game. Rondo turned back the clock during this stretch, garnering three steals in a matter of minutes. Some hot shooting from Jamal Murray thwarted the Lakers' efforts and we will now go to Game 4 with the series certainly alive and well.
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Past Season Summaries
2018

Rajon Rondo appeared in 46 games in 2018-19, starting 29 of them. For the season, he averaged 9.2 points, 8.0 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals. He ran the offense effectively, showcasing his passing skills and his above-average rebounding as a guard. The veteran point guard handed out 8.0 assists in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 2012-13 and 2013-14 campaigns. Rondo finished the season with 18 games of at least 10 assists, highlighted by a season-high 17 dimes March 29 against the Hornets. He produced 14 double-doubles and one triple-double -- a 24-point, 12-assist, 10-rebound effort in a March 4 loss to the Clippers. He also finished the season with three 20-point efforts and four games with double-digit rebounds. Defensively, Rondo recorded 17 games with at least two steals. He shot at least 50 percent from the field in 14 of his appearances. In addition, he made at least two three-pointers in 10 contests. Right hand surgery to fix a broken bone forced Rondo to miss games in November, December and January.

2017

Rondo joined New Orleans for the 2017-18 campaign after inking a one-year contract in the offseason. Despite missing the early part of the season with a sports hernia, the veteran was a key part of the Pelicans' trek to a berth in the playoffs. Rondo posted per-game averages of 8.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 8.2 assists in 26 minutes. The assists mark placed Rondo fourth in the NBA. In a win over Brooklyn on Dec. 27, Rondo set a career high with 25 dimes in 30 minutes of action. The mark also established a Pelicans franchise record and represented the seventh time in NBA history that a player reached the 25-assist mark. Rondo totaled 15 double-doubles on the season, two of which qualified as triple-doubles. He victimized the Nets again Feb. 10, tallying 25 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in a 138-128 victory. In the postseason, Rondo dished out double-digit assists in six of the Pelicans' nine contests. Overall, he posted per-game averages of 10.3 points, 12.2 assists and 7.6 rebounds before New Orleans was eliminated by Golden State in the Conference Semifinals. That included a monumental performance in a Game 3 victory in which Rondo grabbed 10 rebounds and set a franchise playoff record with 21 assists.

2016

Rondo joined his fourth different team in three seasons during the 2016-17 campaign after signing a two-year contract with Chicago. He played in 69 contests with the Bulls, averaging 7.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game. He also shot a career-best 37.6 percent from three-point range and contributed 1.4 steals per contest. Rondo registered six double-doubles during the campaign, including a performance against the Heat on Nov. 10 in which he scored 16 points and grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds. He triple-doubled in a win over Cleveland on Dec. 2, tallying 15 points, 10 boards and 12 assists. The veteran scored 20 or more points three times during the campaign, notching a season-high 25 along with 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals in a win over Atlanta on April 1. He finished the regular season on a high note, averaging 12.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists in four April contests. With Rondo directing the offense, the Bulls finished 41-41 and qualified for the postseason as the eighth seed in the East. The team went up 2-0 on the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, with Rondo posting per-game averages of 11.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 10.0 assists and 3.5 steals. Unfortunately, the veteran broke his thumb in Game 2 and was unable to return for the remainder of the series, which Boston ultimately won 4-2.

2015

Rondo signed a one-year contract to join the Kings for the 2015-16 season and put together a historic campaign, setting various Sacramento-era records. Among those marks was the distribution of 20 assists in one game, a feat Rondo accomplished twice during the season -- both against the Hornets. The veteran also put his name in the Sacramento record book by dishing out 10-plus assists in 14 consecutive contests between Dec. 30 and Jan. 28. Altogether, Rondo averaged 11.7 assists on the season, ranking first in the NBA and breaking the Kings' franchise record. He also ranked 12th in the league with 37 double-doubles and third with six triple-doubles. Among those was a 14-point, 12-rebound, 15-assist performance against Golden State on Nov. 7 in which Rondo also collected four steals. Thefts were common for Rondo throughout the season as he averaged 2.0 steals per game, seventh-best in the league. He also contributed in the scoring department, averaging 11.9 points per contest and shooting 45.4 percent from the field. In the final game of the season, Rondo scored a season-high 27 points while collecting 10 rebounds and handing out 12 assists against Portland. Although Sacramento was unable to qualify for the postseason, the team did improve its win total over the previous campaign thanks in part to Rondo's contributions.

2014

The 2014-15 season was a roller coaster ride for Rajon Rondo. He broke his left hand in late September, causing him to miss the entire preseason. Rondo returned in time for the season opener and looked like his old self through 22 games with Boston, averaging 8.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 10.8 assists. He registered three triple-doubles during that span, including a 13-point, 10-rebound, 15-assist performance against Toronto on Nov. 5. However, Rondo's tenure with the team that drafted him came to an abrupt end when he was traded to Dallas on Dec. 18. With the Mavericks, Rondo played in 46 games and averaged 9.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists. He faced his old team on Jan. 2 and led Dallas to a victory, scoring a season-high 29 points and making a career-high five three-pointers. Altogether, Rondo ended the campaign ranked fourth in the league in assists per game (7.9). He also finished with 15 double-doubles. In the playoffs, Rondo tallied 15 points and five assists in Game 1 of the Mavericks' first-round series against Houston. He played only 10 minutes in Game 2, however, and was unable to return for the remainder of the four-game series.

2013

After an ACL tear forced Rajon Rondo away from the court for nearly a year, the veteran returned to action with the Celtics on Jan. 17. In his first game, Rondo tallied eight points, two rebounds, four assists and two steals against the Lakers. He ended up playing 30 games on the season. The point guard took on a full workload, logging over 33 minutes of action per contest. Despite the significance of the ACL injury, Rondo's numbers were on par with his previous seasons as he averaged 11.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 9.8 assists per contest. Although he didn't play enough games to qualify for the official leaderboard, Rondo's assist average trailed only the 10.7 mark posted by Chris Paul. The University of Kentucky product also shot 40.3 percent from the field and 62.7 percent from the free-throw line. He dished a season-high 18 dimes and scored 11 points in a win over the Pistons on March 9. Collectively, Rondo tallied 13 double-doubles during the campaign. One of those performances was an 11-point, 11-rebound, 16-assist triple-double against Philadelphia on Apr. 4. Rondo's Celtics ended the season with a mark of 25-57 and missed the playoffs.

2012

Before Rajon Rondo's 2012-13 season was cut short by injury, he enjoyed arguably the finest campaign of his career. The University of Kentucky product averaged a career-high 13.7 points per game and converted 48.4 percent of his field-goal attempts. He also led the league by dishing out 11.1 assists per contest and grabbed a career-best 5.6 rebounds per game. Rondo began the season with 13 double-doubles, collecting double-digit assists in each of those contests. That extended his streak of 10-plus assists, which carried over from the previous season, to 37 straight contests, tied for second-most in league history. Rondo's excellence was rewarded with his fourth straight selection to the All-Star Game -- his first as a starter. Unfortunately, Rondo didn't get to play in the contest as he tore his ACL in late January, putting a sudden end to his season.

2011

Rajon Rondo thrived in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season and further cemented his place as one of the league's premier point guards. He averaged a career-high 11.7 assists per game, the top mark in the Association. He also posted per-game averages of 11.9 points and 4.8 rebounds and collected 21 double-doubles, including six triple-doubles. Rondo was recognized for his solid work with his third straight selection to the Eastern Conference All-Star team. The point guard also earned spots on the All-NBA Third Team and the All-NBA Defensive Second Team. In the postseason, Rondo expanded his contributions even further by averaging 17.3 points along with 6.7 rebounds, 11.9 assists and 2.4 steals in 19 games. In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Rondo scored 44 points -- his highest mark in any regular or postseason contest -- while dishing out 10 assists and grabbing eight boards.

2010

Despite dealing with a number of injuries throughout the season, Rajon Rondo continued to excel in his fifth NBA campaign. The University of Kentucky product missed 14 games but nonetheless placed second in the league with a career-best 11.2 assists per contest. He also posted per-game averages of 10.6 points and 4.4 rebounds while playing a career-high 37.2 minutes per contest. Meanwhile, Rondo's 31 double-doubles tied for 13th-most in the NBA and his three triple-doubles tied for second. For the second consecutive season, the point guard was selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star Game, and he also earned his second straight selection to the All-NBA Defensive First Team. In the playoffs, Rondo averaged 14.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 9.6 assists in nine contests. He collected a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 20 assists against the Knicks in Game 3 of the first round. The assist mark established a Celtics postseason record.

2009

The 2009-10 season was a memorable one for Rajon Rondo as he established a number of career-highs and accomplished many career-firsts. Statistically, he posted the highest per-game averages of his career in points (13.7), assists (9.8), field-goal percentage (50.8) and steals (2.3). The steals mark led the league, making Rondo the first player in franchise history to pace the NBA in that category. The point guard also earned his first All-Star berth as well as his first selection to the All-NBA Defensive First Team. Rondo's versatile game was on full display as he tallied the eighth-most double-doubles in the league (40), with two of those performances going for triple-doubles. In the postseason, Rondo's Celtics advanced to the NBA Finals to face the Los Angeles Lakers for the second time in three seasons. Although Boston fell short, Rondo posted excellent numbers throughout the playoffs with per-game averages of 15.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 9.3 assists in 24 contests.

2008

Rajon Rondo continued to grow in his third NBA season as he established himself as one of the best young point guards in the league. The 2006 first-round draft pick established career-highs in nearly every per-game statistical category including points (11.9), rebounds (5.2), assists (8.2) and steals (1.9). Both the assists and steals marks led Boston and ranked among the top ten in the league. Rondo also posted career highs in field-goal percentage (50.5 percent) and three-point percentage (31.3 percent). For his efforts, Rondo was selected to the All-NBA Defensive Second Team for the first time in his career. The point guard burst onto the national scene even more prominently with a dominant playoff run. In 14 postseason contests, he nearly averaged a triple-double by posting per-game marks of 16.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 9.8 assists while also averaging 2.5 steals.

2007

After a solid rookie campaign, Rajon Rondo took on an expanded role with the Celtics in his sophomore season. The point guard started all 77 games in which he played and averaged 30 minutes per contest, six more than in the previous season. Rondo posted improved numbers across the board, averaging 10.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. He also raised his shooting percentage, knocking down 49.2 percent of his field goal attempts. Defensively, Rondo demonstrated a knack for creating turnovers as he ranked 13th in the league with 1.7 steals per contest. Following a solid regular season, Rondo blossomed during the postseason as one of the key cogs in Boston's run to the NBA title. In 26 playoff games, he posted per-game averages of 10.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists. In the championship-clinching Game 6 of the Finals against the Lakers, Rondo came up big by tallying 21 points, seven rebounds and eight assists along with six steals.

2006

Rajon Rondo opened many eyes during his rookie campaign, beginning as the Celtics' backup point guard before taking over as the starter for much of the latter portion of the season. All told, the 2006 first-round draft pick played 77 games and posted 6.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest. He was also a factor on the defensive end of the court, averaging 1.6 steals per game to rank ninth in the NBA. The University of Kentucky product collected three double-doubles during the season, including a 13-point, 10-assist performance in a win over Atlanta on March 14. He registered arguably his finest all-around game of the campaign against Indiana on April 7, tallying 14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and seven steals. Rondo's performance did not go unnoticed as he was rewarded with a berth on the All-Rookie Second Team.

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Transaction History
  • June 28, 2006
    Drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the 1st round (21st pick) of the 2006 NBA Draft.
  • June 28, 2006
    Draft rights acquired by the Boston Celtics, along with Brian Grant and cash, from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for a conditional 2007 1st-round pick (via Cleveland) and a traded-player exception. He later signed a rookie deal.
  • December 18, 2014
    Traded by the Boston Celtics with Dwight Powell to the Dallas Mavericks for Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright, a 2016 1st round draft pick (Guerschon Yabusele was later selected) and a 2016 2nd round draft pick (Demetrius Jackson was later selected). Boston also received a $13M trade exception.
  • July 13, 2015
    Signed a one-year contract with the Sacramento Kings.
  • July 7, 2016
    Signed a two-year contract with the Chicago Bulls.
  • June 30, 2017
    Waived by the Chicago Bulls.
  • July 19, 2017
    Signed a one-year contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.
  • July 6, 2018
    Signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • July 8, 2019
    Signed a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Rondo signing with the Lakers marks his sixth team in five years. He spent last season with the Pelicans, starting all but two of his 65 appearances. Seeing 26.2 minutes per game, the veteran averaged 8.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 46.8 percent from the field -- his highest clip since 2012-13. However, in joining LA, Rondo's role as a starter may not continue. Lonzo Ball was the Lakers' starter last season, but it's not immediately clear how the signing of LeBron James will affect coach Luke Walton's mindset for a starting five. The situation may ultimately come down to a training camp battle, in which the goal is to find out who fits best next to LeBron. Still, considering Rondo's contract is worth $9 million, the intent is probably for him to hover around sixth-man minutes. Assuming that's the case, he should have enough Fantasy relevance to be worth a late-round selection in deeper formats.
Heading into the 2016-17 season, Rondo joined the Bulls as a free agent, marking the fourth team he's played for in just three years. It ended up being a relatively unsuccessful campaign, with coach Fred Hoiberg alternating his point guard rotation constantly throughout the season. Rondo ended up starting just 42 of the 69 games he played in, while averaging 7.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.4 steals across 26.7 minutes. That translated to arguably his worst statistical season in years, as his scoring was the lowest it's been since his rookie campaign, while his rebounds and assists were both down significantly from a season prior. The good news for Rondo's value is that it could be on the rise following his move to the Pelicans for the 2017-18 season. While his role is unclear, the Pelicans are considering an experiment in moving Jrue Holiday to shooting guard at times, while allowing Rondo to run the point. That would allow Rondo to potentially play alongside the likes of Holiday, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, who are all elite scorers and would give Rondo plenty of targets to boost his assist numbers. Rondo's never been someone to rely upon for his scoring and that shouldn't change in New Orleans, but the veteran is likely in for a bounce-back effort due solely to the fact of the talent he'll be surrounded with. Again, his minutes per game will likely depend on how well Holiday can transition to an off-the-ball guard, so that could play a key role in just how big of bounce-back effort Rondo can achieve.
Following a disastrous half-season stint in Dallas, Rondo rebounded in Sacramento last season, averaging a double-double and matching the highest assist average (a league-leading 11.7 per game) of his career. Rondo also averaged a career-best 6.0 rebounds per game to go with 2.0 steals, his highest figure since 2010-11. While Rondo's shooting woes have been well documented, he was actually an above-average three-point threat last season, knocking down 36.5 percent of his 170 attempts, which were both career highs by a wide margin. The Bulls are betting that the improvement is more than a one-year anomaly, as Rondo joins a backcourt that features two relatively poor long-range shooters in Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler. Whether the trio can coexist will ultimately determine the Bulls' ceiling, and it's fair to question if Rondo's ball-dominant style of play will clash with Wade and Butler's dribble-drive attacks. Regardless, the Bulls roster is relatively void of point guard talent, so the position will be Rondo's to command. Playing alongside Wade and Butler will likely equate to a reduction in Rondo's primary ball-handling duties, and he's unlikely to have the offensive freedom he was granted for much of last season in Sacramento. As a result, Rondo's ceiling should be slightly lower than it was in 2015-16, but he should remain an extremely productive source of assists with above-average steals and rebounds totals at the point guard position.
Rondo signed a one-year, $10 million contract with Sacramento this offseason after finding a lukewarm free agent market for himself following last season. After being traded from Boston to Dallas midseason, the ninth-year point guard saw a significant drop in production across the board while struggling to acclimate to Rick Carlisle's offense. Rondo averaged 8.9 points, 7.9 assists, and 1.3 steals while shooting 40 percent from the free-throw line, all career lows. He did increase his three-point percentage a tad to 31 percent but didn't attempt enough shots from distance (1.3 per game) to be a consistent threat. Rondo's strength has always been his elite ability to find or create open looks for his teammates and deliver the ball. On the downside, Rondo has always struggled to be an efficient shooter and has failed to make significant progress with his outside shot along with his stroke at the charity stripe. He should benefit by playing with an elite level center in DeMarcus Cousins and solid outside shooters in Rudy Gay and Marco Belinelli. Now on a team starved for playmaking talent, Rondo possesses the opportunity to rebuild his stock for free agency in the summer of 2016.
Rondo got a late start to the season in 2013-14 after his recovery from knee surgery. Missing about a year of competitive basketball led to some rust in the point guard's game last season, and he never played on the second night of back-to-back sets. By the end of the season, he was getting regular minutes (37 minutes in March/April) while averaging double-digit assists (11.5 apg). As a whole, Rondo averaged 11.7 points on 40-percent shooting with 5.5 rebounds, 9.8 assists, and 1.3 steals in 30 games. There were nights when the vintage Rondo was on display but others when it looked like he was still fighting through rust. Aside from the health of his knee, the biggest question surrounding Rondo is whether he'll be with Boston all season. Speculation started about two minutes after Boston selected Marcus Smart with its first round pick in June. Rondo is in the final year of his contract and is expected to test the free-agent market next summer. The Celtics' front office insists they want to rebuild around him going forward, but does Rondo want to stay in Boston to rebuild? Or will the front office be tempted to move him? Offers will come in, and general manager Danny Ainge, who's not afraid of bold moves, will listen. But the city Rondo's calling home will not matter. He'll be any team's starting point guard. Entering 2014-15, Rondo remains a top playmaker with excellent vision, a good rebounder from the guard position, and a gambler on defense who will average more than a steal per game.
Rondo is well-established as one of the NBA's top point guards and a perennial leader in assists – he's averaged 11 or more in each of the last three seasons. But this year, his status is so uncertain – the only category where he'll lead the league is question marks. First off, he's recovering from a partially-torn ACL. He's expected to miss the first month of the season at minimum, so figure he's on the shelf for roughly 25-30 percent of the Celtics' 82 games. When he does return, he'll be leading a team that bears almost no resemblance to the one he left back in February. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry are gone, replaced by younger, much less talented teammates. Can Rondo continue to generate big assist numbers when he's passing to Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger instead of Pierce and KG? Will his new teammates create enough space for him to operate? Or will defenses be able to lay off and dare him to shoot? And what happens when he does return? Will Danny Ainge complete his rebuild by trading Rondo at the deadline?
Rondo has increased his assist average in each of the last five seasons, topping out with an impressive 11.7 dimes per game last season. Why so many? Rondo passes, in part, because he can't shoot. Defenses don't have to defend him at the three-point line, but they do have to worry about him driving past. When they sag off, he has all the time in the world to find a teammate cutting to the basket or coming off a curl or screen--he's like a quarterback with an excellent offensive line. When he does have the opportunity to drive, though, he's a very good finisher and has improved his mid-range game significantly (just ask the Miami Heat--he lit up LeBron and company with his pull-up game.)
When last we saw Rajon Rondo, he was trying to lead the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals, playing one-handed through the pain of a dislocated elbow. He actually played with a very different handicap for much of the season; he was badly affected by the C’s trade of Kendrick Perkins, and has admitted that his play suffered as a result. And that should be alarming to the rest of the league. Because even after an ineffective half-season, he finished the year with a career-best averages of 11.2 assists and 2.3 steals (which tied his 2009-10 average). Opposing teams’ defensive strategies may have contributed to Rondo’s big assist totals. He’s such a bad outside shooter, opposing defenders tend to sag off and prevent his drives, daring him to shoot from the outside. But that gives Rondo all day to find teammates like Ray Allen and Paul Pierce running off screens. Don’t be alarmed by Rondo’s ugly three-point percentage; he won’t take enough shots to impact team stats.
Once upon a time, Rajon Rondo was considered the Celtics' big weakness. Today he might be their biggest strength. Rondo continued to develop into one of the league's top point guards last season, leading the league with a career-high 2.33 steals, posting new career bests in scoring (13.7 ppg), assists (9.8 apg), and shooting (50.8 FG%) with respectable totals in rebounding (4.4 rpg). If he had any kind of outside shot – just enough to keep defenses honest – he'd be near-unstoppable. Unfortunately, shooting anything other than a layup can be an adventure for Rondo. Defenses routinely sag off him to prevent dribble penetration – daring him to shoot – he made just 17 threes all season, and from the line he has never topped 65 percent shooting in a season. His poor shooting is the biggest reason he fell behind Derrick Rose, Chauncey Billups and Russell Westbrook on Team USA's depth chart for the World Championships, prompting Rondo to remove his name from consideration just before the final cut. That could become a motivator for him this season.
Last season, Rajon Rondo emerged as one of the top young point guards in the game and an excellent floor leader for Boston’s lineup of superstars. He posted significant improvements across-the-board last season, setting new career highs in points (11.9 ppg), assists (8.2 apg), rebounds (5.2 rpg) and shooting (50.5% from the floor). Like Tony Parker, Rondo does most of his scoring from the paint, using his excellent handle to penetrate and his athleticism to finish; he also doesn’t take – or make – many threes. Unlike Parker, he’s a terrific defender, using his long arms to ball-hawk to the tune of two steals per game. And at a mere 23 years old – he won’t turn 24 until February 2010 – Rondo has plenty of room to improve. And yet, the Celtics spent a good portion of this offseason shopping Rondo. Team president Danny Ainge even bad-mouthed his point in the press, saying “He’s stubborn. He doesn’t always take direction well. He’s very bright and knows what he needs to do to be successful. But sometimes he doesn’t understand what the team needs to be successful.” Has Rondo fallen out of favor with Boston’s management? Probably not. But he’s one of the most tradable commodities on a team that could get old in a hurry. It seems fair to write off Ainge’s comments as “tough love” for a player that is still improving.
With all the attention paid to Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, Rondo thrived last season. It takes all-star caliber teammates to hide Rondo’s gaping flaw – his jump shot. With so many gifted scorers on the team, Rondo never had to keep defenses honest with his shot. In fact Rondo averaged 49-percent shooting, getting tons of layups. With all-stars surrounding him, Rondo should average more than 5.1 apg. But Pierce and Allen can also handle the ball, and coach Doc Rivers limited the second-year pro to just 29.9 mpg. More playing time should come this year, but he’ll never have the ball in his hands as much as other points. Defensively, Rondo creates havoc on and off the ball, averaging a whopping 1.66 steals in just 26.7 minutes per game for his career. Expect that number to hover around 2.0 with increased playing time. Rondo’s also a good rebounder from the position. The Celtics aren’t asking him to do too much as a playmaker, but Rondo produces in a few categories and is a capable second point guard on a fantasy team.
Rondo opens the season in charge of the most-talked about team in the NBA. The additions of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to play alongside Paul Pierce give Rondo a chance to pad his assist numbers from his rookie season (3.8 apg). As a starter in 2006-07, Rondo averaged 5.8 assists per game – even though he was without Paul Pierce for a stretch and in a job-share arrangement with Delonte West. He’s an above-average defender (1.6 spg) and a very good playmaker, so there is some fantasy value here, but he’s a poor shooter from everywhere. That may not hurt the team because Allen can space the floor and scoring threats abound inside and out. Just don’t expect big point totals from Rondo.
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Nine assists in Game 2 win
GLos Angeles Lakers
September 20, 2020
Rondo had three points (1-3 FG, 1-2 3PT), nine assists, and four rebounds in Sunday's Game 2 win over the Nuggets.
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Probable for Game 2
GLos Angeles Lakers
Back
September 19, 2020
Rondo (back) is probable for Sunday's Game 2 against the Nuggets.
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Hands out nine dimes in victory
GLos Angeles Lakers
September 18, 2020
Rondo totaled seven points (3-7 FG, 1-1 3Pt), nine assists, two steals and one rebound in 22 minutes during Friday's 126-114 victory over the Nuggets.
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Good to go
GLos Angeles Lakers
September 18, 2020
Rondo (back) will be available without any minute restrictions in Friday's Game 1 against the Nuggets, Mark Medina of USA Today reports.
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Questionable for Game 1
GLos Angeles Lakers
Back
September 17, 2020
Rondo is questionable for Friday's Game 1 against the Nuggets due to back spasms.
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