The Dallas Mavericks have acquired All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics in a five player deal on Thursday night. Aside from Rondo, the Mavericks also receive forward Dwight Powell in exchange for Brandan Wright, Jameer Nelson, Jae Crowder, a conditional 2015 first round pick, a 2016 second round pick and a $12.9M trade exception. By acquiring Rondo, the Mavericks have put themselves in perfect position to win another title in the Dirk Nowitzki era.
One Last Ride
The Mavericks started the season hoping for one more title run before Dirk Nowitzki calls it a career. So when the 36 year old Nowitzki re-signed with the Mavs in the offseason for a bargain of a contract, it was for the purpose of giving the Mavericks the chance to add championship pieces to their already competitive team. Dallas started shaping their roster by bringing back center Tyson Chandler and then signing former Rockets forward Chandler Parsons in the free agency. After some more minor roster fine tuning, the Mavs were off to their one last ride.
The Mavericks have been off to a good 19-8 start with their upgraded roster but because of the neck-to-neck competition out West, they are currently just the sixth seed in the conference. However, the Mavericks are only 3 ½ games behind the league leading Golden State Warriors and with still over 50 games left to play, the Mavericks can still easily move up the ladder. And now with the addition of Rajon Rondo, sky is the limit for this veteran unit.
The Best Starting Unit in the NBA?
The addition of Rondo gives the Mavericks one solid player for every position. With Chandler at center, Dirk at the four, Parsons at three and the high scoring Monta Ellis at the two; Rajon Rondo easily gives them one of the most formidable starting units in the NBA, if not the best.
The point guard position was the Mavericks “weakest” last season. Hence, it was no wonder why the Mavericks added Raymond Felton (in the Chandler deal), Jameer Nelson and J.J. Barea for this year. But Felton has missed the season with a suspension and injuries while the trio of Nelson, Barea and tweener guard Devin Harris have played poorly as a committee at point guard.
That starting point guard troika has been one of the worst PG combo in the NBA, averaging 7.4 points (30th), 4.3 assists (28th) and .360 FG% (30th). But those numbers will drastically improve with Rondo’s arrival. The 28 year old guard leads the NBA in assists with 10.8 dimes per game, is 11th in the league in steals at 1.68 thefts per contest and is the NBA’s best rebounding guard at 7.5 rebounds per game. Rondo’s current scoring average of 8.3 PPG is the lowest since his rookie season, but with the overload of prolific gunners in Dallas, an unselfish court general like Rondo is destined to flourish in their pace and space offensive system.
Mark Cuban is dead serious about his promise to give Nowitzki one last ride. After Dirk put pen to the paper on his contract, Cuban didn’t put the spare cash in his pockets. He used it to sign Chandler Parsons and to get back Tyson Chandler. Now, he’s making a gamble with Rondo who was vocal about his intention of testing the free agency market at the end of the season. But that is not clearly Cuban’s concern right now. What he’s doing is that he’s loading big guns in preparation for the Wild Western shootout in the playoffs. Don’t be surprised if he goes singing “I Shot the Sheriff” in June.