Boston Celtics: Is Rajon Rondo Their Franchise Player?

There has been much discussion about how the Boston Celtics will approach the 2011 season—if there is one, that is. After retaining coach Doc Rivers for the next few years, the widespread belief is that Boston will keep the same core together and give it yet another run.

There is one issue that should be getting more attention, however, and that is whether or not the Celtics can build around Rajon Rondo once the Big Three leave. This needs to be decided sooner rather than later, as the free agent class of 2012 has legitimate franchise players. Dwight Howard, by far the most dominant big man in the league, would look great in Celtics green.

That being said, it’s hard to see the Celtics trying to build around a Howard-Rondo combination. The other two marquee players on the market, Chris Paul and Deron Williams, both play the same position as Rondo.

It’s very hard to build your team around a guard who can’t shoot and tends to be inconsistent from time to time. And let’s face it, he’s made a career out of passing to three Hall of Famers.

One option would be to trade Rondo for a veteran guard who would be off the books after this season, allowing the Celtics to completely blow up their roster and rebuild with a splash in free agency. Steve Nash is one name who would make some sense, as the Suns are trying to get younger and he wants one more chance at a title. It’s debatable whether the Celtics would be better next season with Nash instead of Rondo, but they would certainly be much more difficult to defend. Nash is as good a passer as Rondo, but a much better shooter and a more capable scorer.

With Rondo out of the picture, Boston would be able to pitch to Howard that the Celtics would be his team for years to come. And they would have the financial ability to support him with other good players.

With Rondo on the books, it would be hard to have a team where your two best players can’t shoot free throws.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Rondo and everything he’s done for the franchise over the years. But if you’re going to build your team for years to come around a single player, you better be sure that he’s capable of carrying the team to a championship level.

I’m not convinced that Rondo is quite at the level of Derrick Rose, CP3 or D-Will. And with the summer of 2012 quickly approaching, and the Big Three soon riding off into the sunset, Danny Ainge needs to make a decision.

Follow me on Twitter @JrMarkyMark

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Hunter Thomas
As a lifetime New England sports fan, Hunter was determined in October of 2005 to finally start using that passion and determination to create the site now known as Celtics 24/7. Formerly known as Celtics Pride, Celtics 24/7 has become one of the most well-respected and followed Celtics websites. Our motto “For Fans, By Fans” rings entirely true as we’ve built and grown a community of passionate and enthusiastic Celtics fans. It all starts with you–the fans, and I appreciate every single person who supports us on our journey to the top.


  1. Ishmael

    September 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I agree with the article, if anything rondo will be a great relief off the bench for a CP3 or D-Will.. But in all honesty Rondo will not and can not lead to the BOSTON to a championship..Either you put it whoever the C’s bring from free agency after the Big3 leave will be the star of the team

  2. Borna

    September 9, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Rondo should stay, look at all the time where he has easily has 20-5-10 games, and those happen when he takes more shots, or when one of ray, paul, and kevin is hurt, he is as good as Rose, westbrook, Williams, and Paul. He just simply is in a different situation, where he doesn’t need to score as often, and at as high of a frequency as the others.

  3. Briana

    July 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    This is bs. Rondo is good for us and has stuck with us. If he gets traded it will be another perk deal, a big mistake! And ps, you should know better than bring this nonsense up to the die hard celtics fans. You should expect to be bashed.

  4. Pingback: Boston Celtics Daily Links 7/20 : NBA News Report

  5. pcruz

    July 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    @Jamie Canu that’s what I was trying to say. ^^ Thanks for the awesome rebuttal. 😀

  6. Jamie Canu

    July 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    I do think people are tough on you Mark, this is your opinion. Instead of insulting when you disagree a well thought out rebuttle is more mature and effective in discussion making.

    Here is my response.

    I think Rondo gets a bad rap as a “bad shooter,” because his FG% is right on par with a solid NBA shooter… but true he still can not hit a jump shot consistently. He is much better in tight with ball movement.

    Rondo is not a top scorer, but he has the floor control very few can even measure up with now or historically.

    I think he not only should stick around, but they need him to stick around. What would Malone have been without Stockton? He is our playmaker of the future and with a dynamic player he could shred any defense with passing and open the floor for shots that should not be possible.

    In now way would I trade him…. ever.

  7. Mark Evans

    July 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    everyone calm down.

    don’t bash me for something that is a totally reasonable concern. rondo can’t shoot! and he’s very inconsistent. and oh yeah, he’s messed up more than 2 times.

    stop putting words in my mouth as well-i love rondo, and have never called him a scrub. but in the NBA today, you need multiple elite players to contend.

  8. paul

    July 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    This article is right about one thing: the Celtics need to make a decision about Rondo and stick to it. Ainge needs to stop ****ing around. You can’t build a team around a policy of “everyone is expendable”. You have to commit to an approach, and that means committing to a player. It’s still a player’s game. This isn’t the NFL, thank God.

    The rest of the article is nonsense. We are lucky to have Rondo. He is recognized around the league as a top talent who is still in the process of stretching his wings. How many times are we going to see folks claim that Rondo would be a scrub without the Big Three? They have benefitted from playing with Rondo, just as Rondo has benefitted from playing with them. As for Dwight Howard – the main reason he would come to the Celtics would be to play with Rondo, arguably the best passer in the league. Without a doubt, Rondo and Howard need to work on their freethrow shooting, but poor free throw shooting is not the worst problem for a team to have.

    But yeah, Danny needs to make a decision. If he isn’t convinced that Rondo represents the future of the Celtics, he should trade the guy.

  9. bjames

    July 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    i love rondo! but without great scorers around him the offense would not go. just watch any fourth quarter with the c’s the last few seasons, when he needs to drive to the basket he doesn’t do it cause he’s afraid to shoot free throws. as much he’s all-nba in every other category you need to be able to put the ball in the hole if your a teams best player. if we could trade him for nash, cp3, or d-will i’m all in. if we can get an all-star wing who can score all will without giving up rondo we should keep him. Finally I want the celtics to win championships. that the final line. i’d trade anyone to win more banners.

  10. dana

    July 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    article kinda sucks. i always thought rondo held it down for us. we need him. i only remember him screwing up like 2 times….
    give him some credit geez….
    go rondo!

  11. pcruz

    July 20, 2011 at 1:31 am

    this article makes rondo look like a lame athlete. He’s got great basketball IQ the way he controlled games. You did not give him enough justice by plainly saying he can’t shoot. like i said, i don’t like it, but then this is a blog and anyone can freely speak their mind.

  12. Mark Evans

    July 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    look i love what rondo’s done for us just as much as the next guy. and i didn’t say that they should trade him. but they need to consider the possibility that maybe he’s not the best option moving forward

  13. pcruz

    July 19, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    i don’t like this post. Rondo had been a true green. they should see if he can do it and improve before they decide trading. I really don’t like this post. It ruined my day! thanks a lot.

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