At the beginning of last season, Rajon Rondo was nearly a lock to receive a max contract in 2015. The only question was which team would be signing the checks for the 29-year old point guard.
Eight months later, Rondo has talked and played his way out of that contract. Instead of having a plethora of teams to choose from, he has been relegated to exploring which teams will even take a chance on him.
As with nearly every big-name free agent, Rondo has been heavily linked to the Los Angeles Lakers. It is no secret that they covet his talents as a floor general, and being one of the few players Kobe Bryant would actually be willing to recruit to L.A., he seems like a perfect fit. The rumors swirling around NBA circles this week, however, involve a different team from the State of California; the Sacramento Kings.
Yahoo Sports reports that not only are the Kings interested in the four-time All-Star, but Rondo shares a mutual interest as well.
The Kings could be the perfect fit for the enigmatic floor general to rebuild his image, after being benched for the Dallas Mavericks’ final three games of the playoffs after multiple run-ins with head coach Rick Carlisle. He will likely only sign a one-year contract, due to the NBA salary cap being expected to make a dramatic increase in 2016, but that should be all the time that he needs to re-establish himself as one of the premier point guards in the league.
In addition to being a low-profile destination for Rondo to prove himself, Sacramento has one of the best coaches in the business in George Karl to help keep him in line.
Landing Rondo on a discount is a great deal for the Kings, even if it is just for one year. However, reports that Karl wants to trade All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins are a cause for concern. Rondo has created locker room issues with both of his previous two teams, and a team that missed the playoffs last season and is shopping the cornerstone of its franchise does not exactly have the stability that an organization taking on his baggage needs.
Between Karl’s presence and the harsh wake-up call he received this summer, though, I do not see Rondo causing much trouble if he signs with the Kings. At the very worst, he would be a nice asset to have for when the trade deadline rolls around.