In 2012 the Golden State Warriors finished 23-43 with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Then Draymond Green happened. Next season they finished 47-35. Moral of the story: nice doesn’t win championships.
Rajon Rondo is not a “nice person.” More like grabbing a tiger by the tail.
His fiery personality could unlock A.J. Hammons potential, because A.J. needs a reminder of his lack of motor. With Rondo on the floor, the second unit of young, athletic leapers wouldn’t been given any slack to make them happy. Their performances are good, but are they good enough to win a ring?
Point guard – Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard – Tyler Johnson
Small forward – Josh Richardson, Rodney McGruder
Power forward – Justise Winslow, Okaro White
Center – A.J. Hammons, Bam Adebayo
Nikola Mirotic said of Rondo’s effect on the younger players in Chicago,
"I know it's different for him coming from the bench. He's not used to it. But for us, the second unit, he's huge.
Doug (McDermott), Paul (Zipser) and I are feeling so great playing with him.
He's basically saying to us: 'We're going to have a ball. Just run. Play free.'"
Coach Erik Spoelstra knows how to handle the passionate players, who love the game of basketball. He would unleash Rondo from his “box,” as Spo puts it, and give Rajon full rein to mentor the young players, most with only a couple of years or less experience in the NBA, how to play winning basketball. And for Rajon, winning is everything.
Whether Rondo accepts a mid-level exemption (MLE) is another matter. Imagine Tyler, Winslow, and company being on the receiving end of Rondo’s assist mastery. Along with former Boston Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk, Miami would have their own shamrock duo when they face Gordon Hayward and his version of the Celtics.
Maligned for his broken jump shot, “scoop” Winslow has a knack for getting separation from his defender to convert scoop baskets at the rim on transition plays. And of course, Justise has thunderous dunks on drives and off lobs from teammates.
Bleacher Reports take on free agency includes this tidbit on Rondo,
A year ago, Rondo averaged 26.7 minutes and turned it into 7.8 points, 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds, which isn't terrible when thinking about his playing next to a top-15 player like Jimmy Butler.
In Los Angeles, Rondo would spell Ball and otherwise lead an interesting second unit while helping the team be more competitive than it was a year ago.
One last montage of how to play point guard the Rondo way.