NBA Trade Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers Interested In Acquiring Chicago Bulls Guard Rajon Rondo
The Chicago Bulls have a problem on their hands in the form of point guard Rajon Rondo. The Bulls signed Rondo to a two-year, $28.1 million contract this past offseason as they attempted to reload following the trade of Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks. The team’s plan was to build around Rondo, Jimmy Butler, and Dwyane Wade and attempt to become a playoff contender after missing the postseason last year.
Unfortunately, things came crashing down during the Bulls’ 111-101 loss to the Indiana Pacers on December 30. After going scoreless and only grabbing one rebound and dishing out one assist in 11 minutes in the first half, Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg made the decision to bench Rondo in favor of Michael Carter-Williams.
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The Bulls have since played three games, and Rondo has yet to take the court as Hoiberg has made the decision to start Carter-Williams and use Jerian Grant as the team’s backup point guard. Things came to a bit of a head on Saturday night when Rajon sat down with Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson and general manager Gar Foreman.
Unfortunately, Rondo says that things aren’t any clearer after the meeting than they were before.
“It went OK,” Rondo told ESPN. “It really wasn’t a clear-cut message [from Forman and Paxson]. We’ll talk again.”
According to ESPN, Forman and Paxson thought that they were “crystal clear” in their message to Rondo and told him to remain professional about his benching.
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After the Chicago Bulls’ loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on New Year’s Eve, Rondo told reporters that he would “absolutely” be looking to move on from the Bulls if the benching continued. He wasn’t as open on Wednesday night when asked by journalists if Foreman and Paxson were open to finding a new team for Rondo to play for.
“I’m leaving that talk for my agent [Bill Duffy] and for them guys [Forman and Paxson] to talk,” Rondo said.
Rondo was also asked whether he would be open to coming off the bench in the future.
“We’ll see,” Rondo said. “We’ll see. I just want to work on my game and continue to get better.”
In 29 games this season, Rajon Rondo has really struggled as he’s only averaged 7.2 points, 7.1 assists, and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 36.9 percent from the field. Last season, Rondo hit 45.4 percent of his shots while averaging 11.9 points and 11.7 assists in 72 games with the Sacramento Kings.
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While Hoiberg and the Bulls front office haven’t been happy with Rondo’s performance this season, Dwyane Wade has been impressed with the way Rajon has handled himself since being benched.
“He’s been in a great place with his teammates,” Wade said. “That’s all you can ask for. Obviously, you don’t expect him to be jolly that he’s not playing the game that he loves. But when it comes to his teammates, he’s been great. He’s been staying in it, keeps talking to guys. He’s been here every day. It’s a tough situation. There are a lot of players on this team that don’t really understand. But it’s not for us to understand. It’s our job to play. He’s a teammate of ours. You never know what happens. We stick together. He’s been doing a great job of it.”
With Rajon Rondo’s future in Chicago in serious doubt, the Cleveland Cavaliers have an interest in acquiring the four-time NBA All-Star, according to Legion Hoops. One of the most glaring weaknesses on the Cavaliers’ roster is at the backup point guard position, and Rondo would certainly be able to fill that hole assuming that he would accept a bench role.
It’ll be interesting to see where this saga turns next as it’s beginning to look highly unlikely that Rajon Rondo will remain with the Chicago Bulls.
[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]