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Stop talking Rondo for Westbrook trade, it’s a bad idea

Dec 29, 2011, 4:11 PM EDT

Rajon Rondo Russell Westbrook Getty Images

In the wake of Russell Westbrook having a spat with Kevin Durant while at the same time the Boston Celtics are off to an 0-3 start, there’s been all sports of buzz on the Internet and talk radio about a Westbrook for Rajon Rondo trade.

Stop it. Let it go. It doesn’t work. And it’s a bad idea for the Thunder.

First, you can’t just swap the two — Rondo makes $10 million this season, Westbrook $5 million. NBA rules — even with the new CBA — mean you have to be a lot closer with the salaries, OKC has to give up more. If I were Boston I’d ask for Eric Maynor and Nick Collison to balance it out. Think the Thunder would still do it if they have to give up a couple more guys, quality depth and role players?

Secondly, the Thunder wouldn’t do it in the first place — Rondo is a poor fit in Oklahoma City. Westbrook works there because he is a scoring point guard and the Thunder need his shooting and points from the perimeter (and on drives). Rondo is not a shooter, he’s a slasher. Put Rondo in the back court with Thabo Sefolosha and now you have two guys who are not threats with the outside shot. It makes defending the Thunder easier.

I’m not saying Rondo is better than Westbrook, or visa versa. They’re different, and different fits. Westbrook works well with what the Thunder want to do, Rondo less so. The Thunder would still be good with Rondo, just not as good.

As for the personality clashes, I think it’s overblown. I have concerns about Westbrook’s maturity level at times, but he and Durant seem to get along. By now, what happened yesterday is behind them. Is Rondo’s personality — storming out of meetings and feeling like he gets all the blame and none of the credit in Boston — going to be any better in Oklahoma City? On Kevin Durant’s team?

This deal makes no sense for OKC. They wouldn’t do it. I’m not sure Boston would either, but you never know with Danny Ainge. He did offer a Rondo and Jeff Green for Kendrick Perkins and Westbrook deal at one point that probably made Geoff Petrie laugh out loud. Frankly the Celtics would be better off building for the future around Rondo’s unique skill set, but Ainge doesn’t seem to love that idea.

  1. jmclarkent - Dec 29, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Thunder wouldn’t do it in the first place — Rondo is a poor fit in Oklahoma City. Westbrook works there because he is a scoring point guard and the Thunder need his shooting and points from the perimeter (and on drives). Rondo is not a shooter, he’s a slasher. Put Rondo in the back court with Thabo Sefolosha and now you have two guys who are not threats with the outside shot.

    I disagree – I think that it would actually work well. If you get Rondo, you bench Thabo and start Harden to make up for the differential in firepower.

    • leearmon - Dec 29, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      I agree 100%with jmclarkent. Rondo is an absolute better fit for OKC than Westbrook. For one Rondo is a far superior defender than Westbrook. More importantly however, the fascination with Guards who score in bunches without a high efg% (like Westbrook and Rose) have yet to EVER I repeat EVER win a championship. Period. Now to the points about “bad fit”, Rondo makes his teammates better by getting them the ball in spots where they can succeed. I have no doubt that a player like Ibaka would have his offensive numbers increase with a guy like Rondo driving looking to set up his teammates rather than looking for his own shot.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=westbru01&y1=2012&p2=rondora01&y2=2012

      Its clear here Rondo IS the better shooter. I’ll repeat BETTER SHOOTER THAN WESTBROOK, higher TS% higher efg% lower usage, higher offensive rating, better defender, better offensive and defensive win shares, and WS/48 is not even close. Kurt I know you’re not big on advanced stats, but the evidence is hard to ignore.

      In any situation, give me the point guard who makes his teammates better, who can penetrate defenses and not only finish at a high rate, but also has the court vision and awareness to set others up. Rondo would be the perfect fit in OKC, and Westbrook’s brand of exciting scoring combination may be enough to keep the C’s a contender once the Big 3 call it quits. A trade could easily work since Westbrook will be looking to re-sign at the end of this season/offseason maybe a few pieces or picks could be exchanged but to say it wouldn’t fit, or it couldn’t work is asinine.

      • makjak2 - Dec 30, 2011 at 11:59 AM

        nice post. Rose is electrifying and I love everything else about him (demeanor, leadership, etc.) but give me a Rondo or Paul over an inefficient volume shooting pg anyday.

    • jjacks1122 - Dec 29, 2011 at 8:06 PM

      couldn’t agree more. You also still have Daequan Cook on the bench who would be a capable shooter off the bench to keep the floor spread

  2. bparmalee - Dec 29, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    I think you have to look at (what appears to be) Westbrook’ make up… he wouldnt do well in Boston. The reason Rondo works with Garnett and Peirce is because he is a pass first PG…. Westbrook is far from that. If he clashes with Durant..could you imagine the battles him and KG would have? In the end he will be a restricted free agent so they can wait and see. A player like Steph Curry makes more sense for OKC than Rondo does anyways.

    • leearmon - Dec 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM

      I dont know, Monta Ellis clashed with a guy like Steph, imagine what would happen if Westbrook and Ellis played in the same backcourt. In the immortal words of Bill Walton “Yikes!” And if Steph can’t stay healthy why would OKC trade for him?

  3. bozosforall - Dec 29, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Nobody wants Rondo really. Let Boston be stuck with building around him once the “Big Three” get sent to the old folks home. Many years of the Celtics sucking soon to follow. LMAO

    • missmomo1 - Dec 30, 2011 at 3:00 AM

      For somebody who hates the Celtics, you sure know how to click on these articles and take the time to read them all. That’s just SAD. U need to have SEVERAL SEATS.

  4. goforthanddie - Dec 29, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    If Westbrook and Durant can’t play nice together, I dare say Rondo is a much better fit. That should go w/o saying, but…

    • thatboi901 - Dec 29, 2011 at 5:35 PM

      To say Rondo wouldn’t fit in OKC is crazy. Can you imagine how many easy points will be available in the post with Rondo being PG? The problem with the Thunder is that Westbrook thinks he is better than Durant and refuses to be 2nd option. This could turn into a disaster for them come playoff time.

  5. lilrock9 - Dec 29, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    I disagree with these thoughts. Not only is rondo better but then you can insert Harden into the starting lineup & Durant will become a better player ( scary Huh). Also more shots for Durant simply because of less turnovers.

  6. bradyisbetterthanrodgers - Dec 29, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    bozosforall is obsessed with boston sports

    • goforthanddie - Dec 29, 2011 at 7:20 PM

      Says the goof plugging Tom Brady.
      Here’s a hint: Next time you have nothing to say, go with it.

      • bozosforall - Dec 29, 2011 at 8:17 PM

        Nice OWNAGE.

    • bozosforall - Dec 29, 2011 at 8:19 PM

      Not nearly as much as you New England turds are obsessed with any thing NYC. The Yankees owning your team for nearly a century now is something that you losers will never get over.

  7. mikep363839 - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    Westbrook is the better fit for now..come post season he takes the ball out of KD hands and becomes erratic. The Thunder are banking on him growing up and becoming a pure point guard, thats not happening. Rondos a better fit in my opinion but Westbrook is 23 with a higher ceiling. no way im giving up on Westbrooks potential. Arguing with KD will get his a$$ shipped out though, thats KD team and Westbrook better recognize.

  8. a185 - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Rondo makes people round him better…? you mean the big 3, the 3 guys that have been All-Stars multiple times before Rondo entered the league, you mean the 3 guys who’ll someday be in the Hall of Fame… former MVP KG, best 3 point shooter in NBA history Ray Allen and Most points scored by a Celtic Paul Pierce… yeah he sure made them better… where would they be in their careers without Rondo. If he could make Kerry Kittles, Keith Van Horn and Kenyon Martin look like All-Stars then you could say he makes people better… so far he hasn’t done that… you really think it matters who passes Ray Allen, KG or Paul Pierce the ball… they’d score regardless. In fact since playing with Rondo all of their scoring numbers are down so he makes them worse.

  9. slopmcflop - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    Look, this is a trade that could make sense, more so the Kurt wants to give it. I agree with that. BUT I also agree that it’ll never happen. Yes, Rondo slashing creates great opportunities for other players. But have you all forgotten that the whole spat the other night started because Westbrook drove and dished to a wide upon Sefolosha, who wimped out on the shot? Westbrook has averaged over 8 assists for the past two years. He’s not a terrible playmaker.

    Yes, he gets into rapid fire modes. Yes, he gets frustrated at times. But the dude is only 23, with plenty of time to mature. And it’s not like the scoring champion of the past two years is suffering with Westbrook in the game. These two have the potential to be a lethal 1-2 punch for years to come, and like any relationship, there are growing pains.

    But to say that them both being on the same team is toxic, and that one of them has to go, is just absurd. No one is saying that DWade and Lebron need to be split up, and they’ve had a few of the same issues. OKC is lucky to have these two guys, they don’t need to change things up. They just need to mature and gain experience. As is, they are already a popular pick to at least make it to the conference championship.

  10. andyreidisfat - Dec 29, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    I’m sorry to those obvious Boston fans who think rondo is better than westbrook, cuz ur flat out wrong.

    Of course rondo has better career stats, heck he’s played the last 4 years with three hofers.

    Let’s also not forget Westbrook is still getting better and rondo is what he is.

    And while westy has some maturity issues no doubt, he can still grow out of that but rondo again is a jerk and will always be a jerk.

    The final thing to me that’s most important when judging the two players is how they react to pressure. Both men have had problems with this. Yet the pressure on rondo has been far less as he is a 4 option, Westbrook however is a number 2 and sometimes the number 1 option.

    So in the end I think the writer is right about rondo being a bad fit, just not for the reason he stated. However the celtics would get a steal if this trade happened.

    The real trade that would help 2 teams is jeru holiday for Westbrook. If Westbrook was to be traded this is the deal that makes sense for both teAms. Okc gets a real pg who defends well and the sixers get a true scoring guard and allow turner to flourish as a point forward.

  11. bradyisbetterthanrodgers - Dec 29, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    bozo

    yes the yankees own the sox. ill give u that but the pats own the yets. no superbowl for they yets for 42 years!!!! doesn’t look like a superbowl title is coming any time soon either. pats are on their way to another superbowl this year

    • bozosforall - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:40 PM

      I don’t care about the Jets. Besides the Giants have 3 Super Bowls AND 4 other NFL titles to their name. Also, the Pats took 42 years to win their first title, so yapping about a 42 year wait for the Jets when the Pats also had to wait as long is not only hypocritical but just ignorant.

    • goforthanddie - Dec 30, 2011 at 2:13 AM

      And all that relates to basketball…how?

    • thetruth1313 - Dec 30, 2011 at 6:52 AM

      I think Bozo is a Steelers “fan”, just like he is a Yankee “fan” and it wouldnt suprise me if he is a Laker “fan”.

      Just a typical bandwagon fan who knows absolutely nothing.

  12. missmomo1 - Dec 30, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    You are way off. Though I believe Rondo should stay a Celtic, he would be perfect for OKC. You have a guy who’s just as athletic as Westbrook so he can slash through the lane and dismantle the defense. Rondo is obviously much more efficient with his shot selection and ball handling skills so less turnovers. Not to mention his ability to make his team mates better. I can only imagine how many points KD and James Harden would have with Rondo. Westbrook is very talented but he hasn’t really honed his skills yet so I don’t know why anyone would trade Rondo for him.

  13. ndrocks2 - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:18 AM

    Rondo and Perkins are tight and Rondo wouldn’t be taking shots from Durant like Westbrook.

  14. anhdazman - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:55 AM

    Advantage for OKC if they got Rondo. He’ll make all the players in OKC better. Westbrook can continue to hog the ball in Boston to take some heat off of those old vets on their last legs.
    Both PGs are Divas so there’s a push in that department.

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