Rajon Rondo’s free agency should be a fascinating adventure—having napalmed all bridges in Dallas, one must wonder which franchise will be willing to take a gamble on the moody floor general.
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers have long been Rondo fans, and the feeling is reportedly mutual.
Around Rondo, the energy is toxic. The Rockets’ and Mavericks’ interests intersect everywhere, including with the trade pursuit for Rondo in December. Rondo’s agent never wanted Rondo in Houston, partly because it would’ve cost another client, Patrick Beverley, his job and payday to re-sign with the Rockets this summer. In the end, the Rockets kept bidding on Rondo to try to push the price higher for the Mavericks, which was ultimately unsuccessful.
When Rondo realized his run with the Celtics was over this year, he planned to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer, league sources said. He expected a maximum contract. Once Dallas made the trade, he was open to re-signing with the Mavericks – only there are no max contract offers for Rondo on the market. Not in Dallas, nor Los Angeles. He’s played his way out of that payday – not just this year, but since that terrible ACL injury two years ago.
Rondo always does the work, the preparation, but everyone could see again in Game 2 that his struggles with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle remain an immense hurdle. On the court, there were those who believed Rondo’s eight-second violation for failing to cross the midcourt line was an act of protest on the coach’s calling of plays. Rondo played 10 minutes, picking up fouls for slapping at James Harden, and finally a technical to start the third quarter for shoving Harden out of sheer frustration. […] When Rondo and Carlisle had it out on the bench and again in the locker room in February, teammates heard Rondo ask him: “Why the [bleep] did you bring me here?”