With NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler getting traded Thursday night, new Chicago Bulls rumors have surfaced with regards to point guard Rajon Rondo. Since the Bulls appear to be entering full “rebuild mode” with the Butler deal, it seems likely that other veterans could be on the move, including Rondo. If the Bulls decide not to keep him, it opens up a few possibilities. The latest speculation is that the former All-Star and NBA Champion could be headed to an Eastern Conference rival or to join forces with two All-Star big men in the Western Conference.
On Friday, the Chicago Tribune reported that the Bulls have yet to decide on picking up Rondo’s $13.4 million player option or waiving him for a $3 million guarantee before the deadline. The decision-making process is taking some time as management figures out a way to possibly keep Rondo on the roster while allowing their newer young guards to get playing time. The team may attempt to waive Rondo and then re-sign him for a lower salary, but it’s been said that particular move could be risky based on the fact Rondo has plenty to offer other teams in the league interested in his services.
Two such teams that could be interested in the Chicago Bulls’ Rajon Rondo are the Indiana Pacers and the New Orleans Pelicans. As of this report, the Pacers have yet to make any sort of deal involving Paul George, although based on all the buzz, they’ve been trying. If they keep him for the coming season, adding a veteran like Rondo who is a four-time All-Star with playoff experience, could help George feel that the team is trying.
The New Orleans Pelicans shocked the world when they acquired big man DeMarcus Cousins to pair with NBA All-Star MVP Anthony Davis this past season. While the team failed to reach the postseason, expectations will be high for the Pelicans in their 2017-18 NBA campaign. Bringing in Rajon Rondo to provide playmaking with the two big men could help this team get closer to being contenders in a jam-packed Western Conference.
In the regular season, Rondo averaged just 7.8 points per game, but led Chicago in assists with 6.7 per contest, and also snatched over five rebounds a night. As Bleacher Report mentioned, Rondo helped lead the Bulls to two playoff wins against the No. 1 seed Boston Celtics, averaging 11.5 points, 10 assists, and 8.5 rebounds per game. An injury cut the series short for him, as he sat out the remaining four games of the series, all of which his Bulls team lost.
With the Chicago Bulls, it’s clear they are rebooting their roster and looking to build from the ground up. With the acquisitions of younger players like Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and draft pick Lauri Markkanen, the team won’t be expected to make noise next season. While the 31-year-old Rondo could provide some mentorship for the younger guards, the fact there are other teams interested in adding him to their rosters could make it tough on the Bulls to attempt a money-saving move.
[Featured Image by Elsa/Getty Images]