Sacramento Kings Would Be Foolish to Pursue Rajon Rondo

By David Kenyon

Once considered a prized asset, Rajon Rondo’s stock fell dramatically following a disastrous stint with the Dallas Mavericks.

Rondo will soon become an unrestricted free agent, and the four-time All-Star will certainly have a handful of suitors, despite his struggles last season.

While the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Houston Rockets have each been connected to Rondo, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe mentioned one more possible landing spot: the Sacramento Kings.

“Rondo, who didn’t appear interested in going to the Kings a few years ago, could use the club as a springboard to perhaps a larger contract if he signs a one-year deal. Rondo is also close friends with Kings forward Rudy Gay.”

Rondo tallied  9.3 points, 6.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds per outing and failed to mesh with the Mavericks—particularly head coach Rick Carlisle. A front office must be able to justify adding Rondo, and the only conceivable reason is that the 29-year-old is an upgrade.

That’s not the case in Sacramento.

Since the Kings already have Darren Collison running the backcourt, the franchise would be foolish to pursue Rondo.

Yes, Collison is recovering from hip surgery, but he was superb through 45 games last season. The 27-year-old averaged 16.1 points and 5.6 assists, knocking down 37.3 percent of his 3.6 three-pointers attempted per game.

According to NBA.com, the five-man unit of DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore and Collison posted a stellar 108.1 offensive rating and an utterly fantastic 91.8 defensive clip.

Collison is eager for that lineup to return next season, per Blake Ellington of Sactown Royalty.

“It takes a long time for one core to gel with each other. I think me, Rudy and DeMarcus, Ben [McLemore], we all gelled with each other throughout the whole season. I’m interested to see how we’ll come back for our second season … When you build a core in the NBA it takes more than one year and I think we haven’t had enough time with each other to build on what we did.”

Rondo, on the other hand, would disrupt Sacramento’s offense. Whereas Collison provided spacing, Rondo is not a threat from beyond the arc, and opponents are happy to let him linger around the three-point line. Put simply, he’s not a serious threat outside the lane, and the Kings need a perimeter weapon alongside McLemore.

Sacramento also must consider adding a forward because the team’s depth behind Cousins, Thompson and Carl Landry—who just underwent wrist surgery and might not be ready in time for the regular season—is lacking.

The Kings have $15 million of cap space (h/t HoopsHype) to work with this summer, but that doesn’t mean they should chase a big name in Rondo.

Dallas tried that, and it didn’t work. Don’t make the same mistake, Sacramento.

Photo: USA Today Sports