The Chicago Bulls saw their season come to a disappointing end in a Game 6 blowout at the hands of the top-seeded Boston Celtics. This has quickly put the attention toward what the front office plans to do with the roster.
One of the bigger decisions that loom for the Bulls is what they will do with point guard Rajon Rondo next season. Chicago has until June 30 to decide whether to pick up the $13.4 million option for the second year of Rondo’s contract or they can choose to exercise the $3 million buyout on his deal.
In light of that, Rajon Rondo has already received support from teammate Jimmy Butler, who has voiced a strong desire to have the former All-Star forward come back for at least another year.
“Of course,” Butler told CBS Chicago.”He’s been huge for us this year, molding these young guys into the type of player that they need to be on that basketball floor, in that film room around everyone.”
Despite butting heads earlier in the season through social media, Dwyane Wade, who could also become a free agent this summer if he declines the $24 million player option for next season, also put forth much praise toward Rajon Rondo citing his work with the younger players on the roster and ability on the floor, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“I definitely became a fan of Rajon as the season went on. It’s always good to have another coach on the floor,” Wade said. “I know everyone can point to a guy’s limitations. But he was great with the young guys. He was great with understanding how to handle me and Jimmy.”
“He had a great season, and I think around the league, people need to understand that. This is a guy who can help you and help your team win if you allow him to be who he is.”
Rajon Rondo was a huge factor down the stretch of the season helping guide the Bulls to a 7-2 record in the final nine games to seal the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. In the month of April, Rondo averaged 12.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 1.8 steals per game.
Rajon Rondo was a huge factor on the floor in the first two games of the Bulls’ first-round series averaging 11.5 points, 10.0 assists, 8.5 rebounds, and 3.5 steals per contest leading his team to a surprising 2-0 lead. In Game 2, Rondo put together a game-changing performance with 11 points, nine rebounds, 14 assists, and five steals.
Rajon Rondo tied the Bulls franchise record for most assists in a playoff game while also becoming just the second player in team history to post at least 10 assists and five steals in a playoff game joining Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. That said, Rondo’s impact was felt in the final four games of the playoff series as he was sidelined with a fractured thumb on his right hand. Rajon Rondo did attempt to play again in the last four contests but was unable to receive medical clearance to do so.
Although there were several bumps in the road along the way for Rajon Rondo in his first season with the Bulls, his play over the last several weeks of the season could change the narrative and direction the team will go with him. Rajon Rondo helped make the Bulls into a highly productive offensive team with him leading the charge at the point.
Ultimately, this could entirely be out of Rajon Rondo’s hands on how it unfolds over the summer. The Bulls are at a crossroad where they will have to choose to either keep the core pieces intact by bringing back players such as Rondo and Butler, whose name has been in the trade rumor mill over the last couple of seasons. All in all, Rajon Rondo’s fate in Chicago will be decided by the Bulls’ front office.
[Featured Image by Charles Krupa/AP Images]