Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn flamed the ‘Rajon Rondo to the Kings’ fire in his Sunday column when he named Sacramento as a ‘darkhorse’ destination for the former Celtics All-Star point guard this summer. The ‘rumor’ in its completion is as follows.
A darkhorse location for Rajon Rondo in free agency is Sacramento, where the Kings are entering a pivotal year in their franchise and could use a bona fide point guard. Darren Collison, coming off hip surgery, is the team’s scheduled starter for next season. Rondo, who didn’t appear interested in going to the Kings a few years ago, could use the club as a springboard to perhaps a larger contract if he signs a one-year deal. Rondo is also close friends with Kings forward Rudy Gay.
That quote has been twisted, condensed, and pulled by all the major rumor-driven basketball sites, and while I wouldn’t doubt the Kings interest in Rondo, Washburn was doing something we all do from time to time, speculating. He didn’t report sourced interest, or that he had heard anything new, he just made a connection that always did and still does make sense.
We know Rajon Rondo has been on the Kings radar in the past. A lot of well established basketball insiders have reported on that, so, while this isn’t necessarily a ‘new’ report, it isn’t completely out of left field.
Rondo’s value has never been lower. The Kings have made a living on striking when the iron is cold. They acquired Derrick Williams at the low point of his career. They acquired Rudy Gay at the low point of his career, and considering Omri Casspi’s minimum one year deal with the Kings last season, you could add that acquisition to the list.
I’m not as against targeting Rondo in the offseason as most seem to be. Despite how bad he was for Dallas last season, and how magnificent his playoff implosion was, I still think there is something salvageable there.
The notion that Rondo could, should, or would use the Kings as a ‘springboard’ for a larger contract elsewhere next offseason doesn’t interest me in the slightest, however, and that doesn’t sound like something the Kings would be interested in, either. Any pro-Rondo argument, or stance I take has nothing to do with that ‘springboard one year deal’ nonsense. No thank you. You are either in, or you are out. If Rondo wants in, I’ll listen.
Darren Collison’s bargain-for-his-production contract is a huge reason why I’d consider adding Rondo. But only consider. It’s a nice insurance policy to have just in case something goes wrong.
I can certainly see the other side of the coin. Rondo had a rough year on the court last season, but his off the court antics would scare me more than anything else. Do the Kings want to add his personality to an already volatile locker room?
I hope you can tell how conflicted I am by all of this. I was very pro-Rondo prior to his performance in Dallas last season. How much can we chalk up to bad fit? He wouldn’t be the first player to destroy his image and value on one team, only to reclaim it all and more for another.
I do know this, if all the Kings need is a Rudy Gay friendship to have a shot at someone in free agency, Rudy needs to get some better friends.