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Rajon Rondo tweet hints he will return Friday vs. Lakers… in a very Rondo way

Jan 14, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT

We passed along a report last week that said Boston’s Rajon Rondo was targeting a return Jan. 17 — this Friday against the rival Los Angeles Lakers. A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com also said that date was the goal.

Rondo basically confirmed that on twitter Monday night — but in a very Rondo way.

If you don’t want to do the math at home, that works out to a little bit more than 338 days — the amount of time from when Rondo tore his ACL Feb. 13, 2013, until this Friday, Jan. 17, 2013.

Boston could use his return, it has lost nine games in a row and 12 of their last 13. It’s hard to pin the slide on one side of the ball or the other — in it’s last 10 games Boston has the NBA’s 27th ranked offense (in points per possession) and 27th ranked defense (points allowed per possession). The offense has struggled all season for Boston, but the defense has gotten worse.

Rondo should help on both ends. He’s an active, pesky defender. On offense, he helps organize the offense in a way they just have not had this season.

“We’re really looking forward to getting him back on the court,” Brandon Bass told ProBasketballTalk. “I think he’s huge for the team. He’s a veteran player, he’s been on winning teams, he’s won a championship, and he’s one of those pieces that when you add him to your team he simplifies things. He makes things easier for everybody. On good teams everybody doesn’t have to make all the decisions, Rondo simplifies things like he did for Hall of Famers and like he’ll do for second and third year players. And ninth year players like myself.”

  1. cruzan80 - Jan 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Very interested to see just how good Rondo is minus 3 future Hall of Fame veteran players on the floor with him. I could be wrong of course but I think we’ve seen the best Rondo already. Celtics in should’ve dealt him before the rest of the league sees what could possibly be damaged goods now.

    • jcmeyer10 - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      Calm down there scooter. Conversely we have not seen Rondo get a chance to make his personal mark on this team. So let’s not get all negative.

      His trade value isn’t going to get crushed just because he doesn’t fit perfectly with one team.

      • cruzan80 - Jan 15, 2014 at 7:42 AM

        Don’t get your panties all in a bunch there buddy. Not being negative…just stating a fact. Last time we saw Rondo with this kinda talent he was a rookie & the team finished in last place. We don’t “know” what he’s like as the undisputed best player on a team with just average talent. Also, players who have recently come back from MCL & ACL surgery (Kenyon Martin, Amare Stoudamire, Derick Rose) hasn’t exactly been glowing rays of hope.

        As someone who was a huge Penny Hardaway fan as a kid, I hate what these type of injuries do to usually very athletic & exciting players. I’m rooting for Rondo but I’m also a realist….sorry???

      • jcmeyer10 - Jan 15, 2014 at 9:20 AM

        I’m not your buddy, guy! Good points.

  2. bjornreyes - Jan 14, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Damn, I hate math.

  3. dolphindubs - Jan 14, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    What?! A PG getting healthy instead of getting hurt?

    Just like Rondo, going against the grain…

  4. stayhigh_247 - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    It’ll be good to see him back out there. With him Rose, Cp3, Westbrook, and even D Will out the league isn’t the same.

  5. johnheisman - Jan 14, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    For the life of me, why in the world would you want to trade Rondo.
    - in the last 10 to 15 years name me one PG in the playoffs that his been better than him. Rose at times, Parker close. I still would take Rondo, he is not only is the best PG in the playoffs he is in the top 5 players period in the playoffs. Chris Paul – not even close. do yourselves a favor and look at Rondo playoff highlights on Youtube.

    - Who is the last good PG the Celtics had – Tiny Archibald 30 years ago.

    - Rondo absolutely cannot be stopped by the Heat. I believe the goal is to win a championship and why would you trade a guy who destroys the 2 time champs everytime they play.

    Rondo is NOT old, overpaid, or selfish, He is a team player and the bigger the game the better he plays.

    We are lucky we have him. If they redrafted his year he would likely be #1 or at worst #2 overall. He also is in my opinion one of the most entertaining players in the league.

    John Heisman

    • coachjac30 - Jan 14, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      Holy Homerism!!

      Its comments like this that make me sometimes wish I wasn’t a boston fan.

      I’ll just make the easy comment which is while Rondo is good (and drastically overrated by you) he is leaving the team after next year, so why not trade him and get something for him to better your team. Or, you could keep him, maybe get the 7 or 8 seed in the playoffs (and in your mind beat the HEAT?) and don’t get a lottery pick.

      • johnheisman - Jan 14, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        Since when is Rondo leaving the team? I must have missed that memo. I did however read where he said why would I ever want to leave. He also for the first time gets to be the man, but obviously you know better, as you and only you clearly must know that he prefers to be an underling or share the spotlight on a team with other stars.

        I also must be the only one to think he is good but I swore I have heard every year in the playoffs something like – he is the best PG in the league from Magic Johnson and/or similar comments from all the “experts”. Last night the writer from SI said at his best Rondo is not a top 5 point guard, he is a top 5 player.

        There is not a more competitive player in the league and the new Celtics will FINALLY be a running team and there is NO ONE in the Pros or College that can QB a team better.

        The absolute worst thing they could do is lose Rondo. Add a good player next year from the draft and they will be solid and with the haul from the Nets trade they will be championship contenders for years to come.

      • johnheisman - Jan 14, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        One more thing. A few years ago my son played on a basketball team with a Miami Heat assistant coach’s son and he would answer any question from the other dads on the team. Two of the many things he said to me were – Perkins was no good and not worth the money when he went to OKC and the other was – the Heat have no answer for Rondo and they cannot stay in front of him. He also said that Rose, Paul and Rondo were the best in the league.

      • coachjac30 - Jan 14, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        Do you really think he is going to say in public that he wants to leave. I’m sure that 98% of all players that have left their team have said they want to stay with their current team, it would serve no purpose for him to come out and publicly say that he is leaving the celtics.

        If you don’t trade Rondo this year, and he is as almighty as you say he is, then the Celtics are going to get the 6/7/8 seed in the weak east, meaning they aren’t getting a lottery pick. So what really good player are you getting at that pick that you can team with him, and the rest of the team, that make them championship contenders?

        Lets assume he resigns with the Celtics for a second, what are they going to have to sign him at, $16-$18 mill a season, is he really worth that. You can say all you want that FINALLY the Celts will be a running team and he’ll get to show off his skills, but he still needs to pass the ball to someone. If Rondo is your leading scorer/best player, you are hardly a championship quality team. If he’s your 3rd best player, then yes, you have the chance to be championship quality.

        If you had to draft a team from scratch, today, and had to take a pg first, there are at least 10 point guards I’m taking over him. He’s good, but not nearly as GREAT as you proclaim him to be.

        As far as the SI writer, I’m assuming you’re talking about Mannix, his words speak volumes. “At his best” is what he said, but does he ever have his head screwed on enough to be that? As far as the “top 5 player” comment, that is ridiculous.

        And as far as your comment about if they redrafted the 2006 NBA draft,thats not saying much, that was a horrendous draft class.

        Keep in mind that Bradley is a restricted free agent, meaning someone can give him one of those balloon contracts, and if the Celts choose to match that is less money you can spend elsewhere.

        The key to the Celtics regaining championship form is to be able to package some of their picks, and some of their better players, to go out and get that real stud or 2. Given what they currently have on their roster, Rondo is one of the few that you can get anything good for, which is why i think its important to trade him.

    • pharohislife - Jan 14, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      Although Johnheisman did over exaggerate and get a little carried, he is not wrong in the fact that Rondo has had some of the best playoff performances in the league. Starting in 2009 Rondo began putting up some playoff series stats that would be hard to duplicate.

      In 09 he nearly averaged a Triple-Double the entire playoffs. In 2010 the Celtics were the 4th seed many expected them to lose in the 1st or 2nd round, Rondo led them past the favorited #1 Seed Cavs, the favorited #2 seed Magic and all the way to Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the Lakers, a game that could have gone either way, had the Celtics won it Rondo without a doubt would have been named the Finals MVP. Then the 2012 playoffs his most recent performance, people say he can’t score but when going up against the Heat in the ECF he put up 21ppg, 12 ast, and 7 Rebs in 7 games. That whole postseason Analyst and commentators were saying he might have been the 3rd best player in that playoffs. Look at it this way Rondo is one of few players that can be on the same court as Lebron and have a better game then him/play a better game the him. He has on numerous occasions outplayed Lebron James.

      Point being it’s not that Rondo cant do these things, he can and he proves it by raising his game to whole other level when it’s playoff time. This is why nearly all of his Triple-doubles have come on National Television, he loves playing on the big stage.

      • coachjac30 - Jan 14, 2014 at 8:09 PM

        I agree with you that he likes to play on the big stage, but in the next year and a half, the Celtics aren’t going to have any big stage games for him to perform on.

        As far as the 09 season, the Celtics were favored to win the championship that season, and would have done so if Perk didn’t get hurt in the Finals, they were the 4 seed only because they rested players during various points of the regular season.

        Do you not think that the reason he was able to put up those numbers in 12 was due to the cast he had around him? The NBA’s defense against Rondo is to go under all screens and to lay off and give him the jump shot. If he starts making that shot more consistently, they will adapt (which would help him in being able to get by his defender). They also doubled off of him constantly and with this team that he has around him, there’s nobody to need to double team, meaning he isn’t going to get as many open shots.

        He’s a good player, but he is not the type of player you build your team around. That is the reason you look to trade him for more pieces and assets. If others in the league value him more than the Celtics do, why wouldn’t you ship him out for a pick or 2 and a young player with potential? You aren’t winning the title in the next 3-4 years at least, so why not speed up the rebuilding process.

        Rondo is no Lebron James, he can not take a team to the Finals all by himself. Finishing 7th/8th in the Eastern Conference every year is not what the Celtics stand for, they want championships, not playoff spots

      • cruzan80 - Jan 15, 2014 at 8:56 AM

        If we are talking about who on the Celtics current roster should get a Lifetime Achievement Award….then yeah….this is pretty dead on & your point is well taken. But, if our the GM of this team…the SMART thing to do is trade him….as much as that will pain loyal Celtic fans. Reality has to be taken into account here. The reality is he’s a 27 year old PG who flourished with other great veteran players around him who is now coming off a very serious injury in which there is little examples of great success afterwards. The team is in full blown rebuild mode and IF (& that’s a big “if”) Rondo is able to return to his old self….why waste those years with him playing with mediocre talent??? If he comes back & plays to a high level, they’ll make the playoffs & get a remove themselves from getting a “sure thing” in the draft. That’s the land of obscurity (just ask Hawks fans).

        Right now, Ainge has a player that he can get almost anything he wants for him based off what he’s done in the past pre-injury. There’s no loss in making a smart trade with Rondo. If you trade him for a younger stud & more draft picks 7 he ends ups being a star for another team….where’s the loss? The job of the GM is to always put the best TEAM on the floor. Rondo with average talent is not the best team Ainge can put on the floor over the next 2-3 years. With the kinda draft that’s on the horizon…he can build this team similarly to what OKC did & actually still have plenty of cap space. Remember, OKC had a very good player too (Ray Allen) before they put themselves in position to draft some guys named Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook & James Harden.

    • cruzan80 - Jan 15, 2014 at 7:57 AM

      He’s also played virtually his entire career with THREE established future Hall of Fame players. I’m sorry but Chris Paul & Derick Rose have NEVER played with the kind of talent Rondo has had & I’d beg to differ about Tony Parker….he…unlike Rondo….has a Finals MVP that contradicts your opinion there buddy. Rondo is without question a great PG…..but I think you need to calm down there juuuuuust a tad.

  6. chargerdillon - Jan 14, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    A very Rondo way? He’ll get ejected for arguing with a ref? He’ll argue with his teamates? Which one is it?!

  7. scalfor3 - Jan 14, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Take your time, Rajon. We need to lose a few more games first.

  8. johnheisman - Jan 14, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    CoachJac30 you are clueless. Rondo not in the top 10 point guards? Please

    Package some picks and better players for a stud… Like who? How about Jeff Green for LeBron? Sullinger and a 1st for Durant? What stud is available? In case you missed it, NBA studs are few and far between and are not traded UNL:ESS they decide they want to leave and go somewhere else and then a team will do a sign and trade. Just curious when was the last time a stud was traded without being involved? Kevin Garnett to the Celtics 7 years ago is the only one I can think of and the Celtics had pieces in place and gave up nothing special. Maybe Pau Gasol to the Lakers but is he really a “stud” or just a very good player. there was also something weird about that trade. BTW, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale aren’t coming through that door.

    Rondo is not a scorer and you don’t have to lead a team in scoring to be the best player. See Johnson, Magic. I am looking to see Rondo and Bradley play together. That is the fastest backcourt in the NBA assuming Rondo is healthy and Rondo’s passes to a cutting Bradley are basketball at its best. The short time that Bradley was healthy and playing with Rondo years ago resulted in a turnaround streak and a trip to the bench for Jesus Shuttlesworth.

    • coachjac30 - Jan 15, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      Well, contrary to your opinion, players never say they want to leave their current team, which means that all players are potentially in play. The only way a player has a true say in the matter of whether or not they get traded is if they have a full no trade clause.

      Although you don’t realize it, you are making my point exactly. The Celtics don’t have enough on their roster as currently constituted to not only pull off a HUGE trade, they also don’t have enough to compete for a championship, which is the ultimate goal.

      As far as point guards go, would you choose Rondo over Paul, Parker, Westbrook, Rose (granted he is injured), Teague, Conley, Williams, Curry?

      When you look at the teams that have won it all in the last 10 or so years, the team that won the championship usually has 3 of the best 4 players on the court during that series. Rondo’s most value to the Celtics is trading him for a young player with stud potential and a draft pick. With that being said, today’s trade of Brooks and Crawford, and not getting a young player in return, tells me they are planning on keeping Rondo, unless of course that is what Ainge wants us to think.

      As far as Bradley goes, he is a restricted free agent after this season, so what makes you think he is definitely staying in Boston? What if a team offers him a balloon contract similar to the one the Rockets gave to Jeremy Lin, do you really think that the Celtics should, and would, match that offer? Bradley is a pretty good player, but he is a streaky shooter at best, and can’t handle the basketball under pressure. If your backcourt of the future is Rondo/Bradley, I hope you plan to have more than Jeff Green, Kelly Olynik and Jared Sullinger in your starting front court if you are hoping to win a championship.

      What is your ultimate goal if you are the Celtics? If its to win a championship, which i’m sure it is, then you need to make more moves than you already have. Lets say the Celtics keep Rondo, and then are able to sign him after his contract runs up (which is a HUGE IF), and you get a stud from the draft in the next year or two, by the time the team is ready to compete for a championship is when Rondo is near the end of his next contract. If Rondo is so valued across the league (according to your conversation with a Heat assistant coach) why wouldn’t the Celtics be able to get a great package in return to help their chances at a quicker rebuild? Would you really rather have Rondo on a mediocre team, or trade him for a package that will speed up the process to being a great team again?

      As far as your Magic Johnson comment, he had Worthy, Abdul Jabbar playing with him, which of these celtics to you are future hall of famers? Exactly, none..Trade the guy for something thats more valuable to your team.

      You are talking out of both sides of your mouth, in one breath you are saying that Rondo is good enough to lead this team to a title and in the next you are saying the Celtics don’t have any valuable pieces on their team that someone else would want, so why would you think they’re good enough to win a title.

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