Rajon Rondo trade rumors may have just come to an end. The Chicago Bulls appear ready to keep Rondo well past the NBA trade deadline. This would indicate that the team is pleased with how he has taken on his new role on the roster, and the team is willing to see what he can do over the long-term. A report by NBC Sports reveals this surprising news as it had seemed like Rondo could soon be the first veteran to get dealt by the imploding Bulls.
NBA analyst Kurt Helin noted that the decision to not move Rondo could also be because he has limited trade value. There didn’t seem to be a high number of bidders during free agency, but the Bulls still gave Rondo a very nice contract for $14 million this year and then roughly $13.4 million for the 2017-18 NBA season. The Bulls also have a buyout clause of $3 million they can enact this summer, which would send Rondo right back to free agency.
“A couple of weeks ago — after Rajon Rondo smacked Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler for calling out the Bulls’ young players for inconsistent effort and not caring about winning — it looked like Rondo’s days in Chicago were numbered. He had been pushed to the bench (and got a couple of DNP-CDs), his role was slipping, and now he had taken a shot at the teams two best players and unquestioned leaders. But things change quickly in the NBA.”
The season numbers aren’t that impressive for Rondo as he is now averaging 6.7 points, 6.6 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. His minutes took a hit when he was placed with the second unit, but the coaching staff has only had positive things to say about him over the past week. In that time, he posted eight points and 10 assists against the Philadelphia 76ers and also had 13 points, seven assists, and seven rebounds against the Miami Heat. His presence on the defensive end of the court as also been very valuable off the bench.
In the latest NBA standings, the Bulls reside as the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. The team has posted a 24-25 record and is actually in a good position to make the 2017 NBA Playoffs. This indicates that the Bulls are very likely going to qualify for the playoffs and get a first-round series that begins on the road. If the postseason began today (Feb. 1), the Bulls would take on the Boston Celtics. If the Bulls dropped to the No. 8 seed, though, they would have to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs.
These new Rajon Rondo trade rumors may not have an impact on anything else the team decides to do at the NBA trade deadline. If the franchise goes into a full rebuilding effort, All-Star Jimmy Butler, future Hall of Fame guard Dwyane Wade, and soon-to-be free agent Taj Gibson could all soon be playing in new cities. Rondo could become one of the only veterans to stay with the franchise, possibly having the rest of the 2016-17 NBA season to improve his trade value for the Bulls to then make an offseason trade.
Rondo still might be a better fit on another NBA team, but it appears that the front office of the Chicago Bulls is unwilling to admit that this experiment has not worked out as well as they had hoped. Signing Dwyane Wade to a huge contract and bringing in a player like Rondo was supposed to have the Bulls battling for one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference. Instead, the Bulls are floundering, Rondo has lost his trade value, and the locker room is in turmoil. While the Rajon Rondo trade rumors might appear again in the NBA offseason, they may go quiet for now.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images