Allen Moll is an avid NBA and College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen is a regular columnist for thehoopdoctors.com, Bleacherreport.com, UpperDeckblog.com, and his own blog, Hoops Haven .
Celts GM Danny Ainge finally came to his senses and made sure the “Big 4″ in Beantown will have their floor general, Rajon Rondo, in town for the forseable future by resigning the 3 year pro to a 5 year, $55 million dollar deal. My obvious question is……….what took so long? As the high scoring nucleus of Garnett, Allen, Pierce, and Wallace will surely start to show their age in the upcoming seasons, Boston now has a vital piece to help keep the Celtics among the league’s better teams, or at least helps bridge the gap towards rebuilding by having a Top 5 point guard on the roster.
Rondo is arguably the most vital cog to the Celtics success since he has proven to be irreplaceable if he would, knock on wood, succumb to injury. They definitely have a plethora of depth in the front-court with the additions of Rasheed Wallace and Sheldon Williams as insurance if Garnett would go down again. Pierce and Allen are both multi talented and almost interchangeable on the floor and could fill in admirably, in shouldering the scoring load, if either would suffer an injury. But what would the franchise do if they were without Rondo’s services for an extended period of time? With no other viable option at point guard, the Celtics would have major issues running the break and defending other top point guards in the league.
Despite not having a superstar standout NCAA career at Kentucky, NBA scouts took notice of Rondo’s potential, as he was selected #21, on 2006, by the Phoenix Suns and quickly traded to the Boston Celtics. After playing the backup point to Sebastian Telfair in his rookie season, he has steadily increased his production in virtually every category, averaging a career best 11.9 points, 8.2 assists, and 1.9 steals last season. He proved to be an even better postseason performer by nearly averaging a triple double(16.9 ppg, 9.8 assists, and 9.7 rebounds) in last year’s playoffs. Those numbers have increased this season to averaging 11.8 assists and 2.5 steals. At age 23, it appears he will only get better.
Why wait until the last possible moment to reach a long term agreement with such an integral part of the team, we will never know. To teach Rondo a lesson of who is in control? One day later, and Rondo would have become another prime free agent the prized 2010 offseason. The ongoing tension between Rondo, coach Doc Rivers and GM Danny Ainge has been highly publicized. The Celtics should count their blessings that they have their man, since finding a supremely talented point guard to replace Rondo would prove to be a difficult task.
The Celtics may have actually got off cheap with Rondo getting an average of $11 million per season, which ranks him 9th among point guards in the NBA, between Monta Ellis of Golden State and Mo Williams of Cleveland. In the aftermath, Coach Doc Rivers should be nice to Rondo, be happy for what he has got………………maybe even ask Rajon for a loan.
Check out a Rajon Rondo highlight video: