The Sacramento Kings' interest in re-signing free agent point guard Rajon Rondo has been hard to read during the first (nearly) 24 hours of free agency. Over the last several hours, however, some of that confusing dust has settled, and it appears as though the Kings are looking hard at other options, if not ruling Rajon Rondo's return out completely.
I’m told that the Kings are cooling on the idea of bringing back Rajon Rondo. It’s not off the table, but it’s cooling.— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) July 1, 2016
For those asking, I keep hearing the Kings do not intend to re-sign Rajon Rondo.— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) July 1, 2016
I think he's resigned to the fact he's probably not comin back https://t.co/dE2aon56IT— Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave) July 2, 2016
On the other, non-local end of the spectrum, ESPN's The Undefeated NBA writer Marc Spears reported that Rondo would still be interested in a return to the Kings.
Marc Spears' tweet is certainly coming from Rajon Rondo's perspective. He makes no mention of the Kings' apparent disinterest, so while it does leave the door open for a Kings / Rondo reunion, this doesn't fly in the face of what Carmichael Dave, Aaron Bruski, or Jason Jones reported about the Kings' interest level in Rondo right now.
Deciding against re-signing Rajon Rondo is all well and good, but quality point guard options are incredibly hard to find in free agency right now. If the Kings are being this open about their disinterest in Rondo, you have to think they already have something else cooking. At least, you'd hope they already have something else cooking. With Jeremy Lin, Matthew Dellavedova, Ish Smith, and Jerryd Bayless off the market under what I would consider reasonable deals, the pool of available free agent point guards worth pursuing is shrinking rapidly.
It's also possible that the Kings know something about Darren Collison's future that we don't. Collison is on an excellent contract, and based on his on-court play, I think most would be satisfied heading into next season with him as the Kings' starting point guard. That situation couldn't be less clear, which, from our perspective, makes it very hard to analyze the Kings' point guard situation heading into next season. They either have one decent option, or zero options, period. That is not a comfortable position to be in.
The Kings have been pretty open about the availability of Rudy Gay, Kosta Koufos, and Ben McLemore. Considering how few point guard options are available in free agency, a trade for that position makes a lot of sense. The Kings are looking at Dion Waiters, Courtney Lee, and Allen Crabbe to help out at shooting guard, so speculating that they might be saving their trade assets to fill the hole at point guard seems reasonable.