Rajon Rondo Might be More than a Rental


The biggest splash the Sacramento Kings made this offseason was definitely inking point guard Rajon Rondo to a one year, $9.5 million contract in early July. Rondo is coming off of a disastrous stint with the Dallas Mavericks, but it’s not like he’s been a scrub forever–Rondo was a top NBA point guard for a long time in Boston.

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The question always facing Sacramento was which Rondo the Kings would end up with.

The Boston Rondo–a triple-double machine who was a fierce competitor and proven winner in clutch moments–or the Dallas Rondo–a whiner who can’t shoot from anywhere, can’t get along with his coaching staff and ultimately gets benched for his poor performance.

Many people have assumed should Boston Rondo show up again and light up opposing defenses with his incredible passing skill that he’ll essentially use Sacramento as a springboard to launch himself into a bigger, long-term deal with a more proven franchise.

During the Kings’ Media Day on Monday, Rondo himself essentially put those worries to rest when he told Jason Jones “there’s no need to go anywhere else if things work out here in Sacramento.”

So it seems NBA players are finally starting to see Sacramento as more than just a temporary stop on the way to bigger and better things. Although his stock is low at the moment, make no mistake if Rondo gets even close to his prime level he’s a downright great player to have.

And if he chooses to stick with the Kings that says quite a bit about where this franchise is at the moment, and maybe about Rondo himself.

Sep 28, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo (9) during media day at the Sacramento Kings practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Of course Rajon Rondo isn’t the only guy to tough it out in Sacramento despite having ample opportunities to leave–DeMarcus Cousins certainly could’ve muscled his way out of town as easily as he muscles through defenses earlier this summer, but he didn’t.

In fact, he doubled-down and worked even harder to make the Kings a better team, which is really all you can ask from any NBA player. Having a good core of players is important, but good players on a team with a terrible culture just won’t work out.

It now seems like the Kings don’t have that toxic culture anymore. Vlade Divac is around to keep George Karl in line, Boogie is way more focused on working than bickering at the moment, Rondo wants to stick around if things go well and Vivek Ranadivé has stepped back and let his employees run the team.

And they’re doing a damn good job, based on the last month or two of Kings news. Things are rolling at the moment, and honestly I can’t wait to watch this team play this season. A passionate, fiery version of Karl, Rondo and Cousins is going to be a force to be reckoned with for any squad–even the titans at the top of the Western Conference.

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Next: Are Cousins and Karl Finally Friends?