Pelicans, Rajon Rondo Agree To Contract

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Published: July 15, 2017

The New Orleans Pelicans have reportedly agreed to a deal with 11-year veteran point guard Rajon Rondo.

History, Play, Fit

Rajon Pierre Rondo, from Louisville, played at Kentucky for 2 seasons before being drafted by the Suns and traded to the Celtics. He signed his first contract with the Celtics and was part of their title team in 2008. He has since played for the hated Mavericks, spent time with DeMarcus Cousins in Sacramento, and was a member of the Bulls last season.

While he will never be mistaken for a shooter, Rondo is a very good passer, rebounds, and is capable of very good defense. He is not the answer for the Pelicans, but he fills a hole on offense as a strong initiator, and he can further solidify the perimeter defense through his individual play, ability to switch, and rebounding.

Rondo is not always quick to pass the ball, so that will be an adjustment, though he did play well with Cousins before. He will be at his best in setting up the big men who may have trouble getting space if there is a lack of shooting on the floor. While Rondo will not help with the shooting directly, he may allow Jrue Holiday to become more of a triple threat while out there with Rondo and the bigs, allowing him to pass again, drive, or shoot.

Rondo has been trouble off the court in the past. The Pelicans locker room has to potential to be a place for strong personalities to clash and be a distraction. It’s also possible that the group on player looking to prove themselves among their peers and the NBA community could solidify. This puts even more pressure on the coaches in the offseason, and it will increase exponentially if the team his rough patches.

Contract

The deal with the 31 year-old (32 this February) is reportedly for one season. The specific value of the contract is yet to come, but it’s likely will range between the minimum salary, which is $2,328,652 for Rondo, and to $4,376,385, which is the Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception amount less the contract value of Frank Jackson this season. If it is something in between, a decent option is that larger figure potentially knocked down by another minimum contract. If it is a larger amount, which is I would expect another move in coordination with it as the team would be hardcapped.

Roster Considerations

Rondo is the 14th contract, not counting Miller, though Cook, Crawford, Toupane are all not fully guaranteed. Rondo has name recognition, played for a champion, and as 11 seasons of experience. This can have value on and off the court. A trade is the still likely from where I sit, so we likely need to a wait just a bit longer before passing judgment on the roster.

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