Chicago Bulls trade rumors still include Rajon Rondo, even as the front office tries to get the situation under control. There was a time when Rondo was considered among the best point guards in the NBA, but his discord with coaches has caused his value to take a big hit. A report by NBA analyst David Aldridge could come as good news to Bulls fans holding out hope that the front office will keep the roster together for the rest of the 2016-17 NBA season.
Aldridge states that the recent discord between Rondo and the Bulls has quieted recently, possibly because the point guard has accepted his new role with the team. Rondo is coming off the bench for Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, but playing in a backup role isn’t why he signed a two-year, $28 million deal this past summer.
Early season struggles caused the Chicago Bulls to re-think having Rajon Rondo as the starting point guard. There was a lot of bad press as he became a role player off the bench, with many NBA analysts blaming the lack of team chemistry for why the new-look Bulls weren’t winning basketball games. In addition to signing Rondo, the Bulls also opened up the checkbook to bring in veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade from the Miami Heat.
The Bulls benched Rondo for five straight games, possibly sending him a message about his new role, but it was a bad move if the franchise wanted to keep his trade value high. The result has been a lowered interest from other teams around the league and a lot of articles by NBA analysts feeling that Rondo is causing problems with another coach. This time, though, Rondo has done a great job at not going to the media with complaints. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t had to deal with constant questions about his role and whether the Bulls want him on the roster.
“I was very cautious this summer, where I chose to play. What I was told in the meeting … it’s a little different (now) from what I was told. That’s all I can say. That was big for me, to come in and understand that I’m a guy that, once I learn the system, I can run the show. That’s what I do. I don’t try to come in and act like I know it all, and that’s why I put the extra work in of watching film, getting an understanding of what you want from personnel, each player.”
So what do the constant Chicago Bulls trade rumors mean and would the team be successful in dealing him before the NBA trade deadline in February? Through 33 games this season, Rondo is averaging 7.2 points, 7.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 2.6 turnovers per game. He is also shooting just 36.7 percent from the field, 31.1 percent from three-point range, and 54.2 percent from the free throw line. None of those shooting numbers are impressive, showing that Rondo has become a liability at times on offense.
With Rondo coming off the bench, the Bulls won their last two games, beating the New Orleans Pelicans 107-99 on Saturday (Jan. 14) and then the Memphis Grizzlies 108-104 on Sunday (Jan. 15). Those two wins have the Bulls as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference standings. This shows how easily the Bulls could make the postseason if the team can string together victories, but that it could end with a first-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It would serve the team best to move up and out of the way of the Cavs trying to repeat as champions.
While the team might not be playing as well as fans had hoped when Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade were signed as free agents, the roster does have enough talent to make it into the 2017 NBA Playoffs. If Rondo can grow accustomed to his role coming off the bench and the team can keep winning games, then the Chicago Bulls trade rumors are going to quickly become a thing of the past. If the team struggles over the next month, though, fans should fully expect many NBA rumors about the team dealing away veterans.
[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]