TrueHoop's Henry Abbott suggested Jason Thompson and the No. 4 pick might be one of the lower bids for Rajon Rondo. My initial response would be: fine, let someone else give up more if Rondo is in fact on the block. But I obviously owe a deeper explanation as to why I wouldn't support such a move from the outset, as my previous post on the subject concerned more about trading Thompson in any deal.
There's this idea that the fancy metrics love Rondo. That's not completely accurate. His PER was 18.8 last year, and I think we'll see Thompson get there as soon as he
a) has a halfway decent coach, and
b) he learns how not to foul on every possession.
I think he has a sentient coach now, and there has typically been a drop in fouls/minute among sophomore big men.
Rondo looks great in assist rate (because he doesn't shoot much) and rebound rate (because he's a maniac rebounder). He's a very good defender, the best at his position. But he shoots poorly, he scores infrequently and he's turnover-prone (relative to the number of possessions he uses).
* The Kings don't have a decent internal power structure (forget decent -- there isn't one at all) so those negative things Rondo brings that Rivers, Garnett, Pierce and Allen were able to squelch -- especially Rondo getting mad when his wings missed shots -- might pop back up here. Who's going to keep him in check? Has two years with Garnett and Allen really changed him as a person?
* This team as constructed will not emphasize defense. Rondo would be the only above-average defender. How much is that going to help? Do the Kings become the No. 27 defense instead of No. 30? Do the Kings have a plan to significantly upgrade the defense at small forward?
* Thompson is the only finisher on the squad right now. Who exactly is Rondo passing to, other than Martin from the wing?
* Is all this worth a) a point guard (Rubio, Flynn, Holiday, Jennings, Evans) who could be terrific and cheap for four years, AND b) a cheap, young, hard-working, nasty power forward who meshes with Spencer Hawes rather well?
You're opening up one hole to fill another. Ike Diogu becomes your starting power forward -- and you'd have to re-sign him. Rondo is up for a contract next summer. Thompson is up for a contract in 2012. The No. 4 pick is up for a contract in 2013. Unless the team thinks it can upgrade its defense around Rondo, Martin and Hawes -- that'd mean small forward and the newly vacant power forward -- I'm not sure how it makes sense. How easy will it be to pull one of the great defenders at small forward this summer or next? I'm talking Trevor Ariza, Luol Deng, (cough) Ron Artest, Marvin Williams?
On the surface, Rondo is better than JT and likely better than the No. 4. But looking at the context, it doesn't make sense for the team.