Rajon Rondo is polarizing player. You can either believe he’s one of the best point guards in the league, in the case of DeMarcus Cousins the best point guard, or you put him in the third tier of point guards. Jeff Goodman, basketball insider for ESPN, believes the latter and joined Larry H. Russell on Celtics Beat to talk Rondo and the Celtics future.
Goodman said “I love Rondo’s ability. I think that’s part of the reason I get frustrated by him. You see guys like DeMarcus Cousins that say he’s the best point guard in the league, and it’s laughable. He’s got great skills, and I feel like he’s not a leader. He’s the furthest thing from a leader.”
There are some players that have said they don’t want to play with Rondo, and then there are others like Carmelo Anthony, and Kobe Bryant that love Rondo.
“You look at the fact that he didn’t get along with Doc Rivers, and that’s a hit because Doc is one of the guys who is the best with people. Then you look back to Kentucky when he didn’t get along with Tubby Smith, one of the highest character guys in the game,” Goodman said. That can be an issue because players will feel that he’s too hard to play with, and hard to get along with.
“You put three Hall of Famers around him, and he’s terrific. He’s perfect in that role where he doesn’t have to lead a team.”
Is it time to trade Rondo? Goodman thinks it’s time to look at it “I would think Danny Ainge is gonna try like heck to move him, this year before he becomes a free agent.”
Marcus Smart is someone Jeff Goodman loves. “He does a lot of the things Rondo doesn’t. He’s got all the intangibles. Marcus Smart is a guy I think can take people with him. He’s a leader. He’s just so tough, all he cares about is winning. Marcus Smart has gotten so much better in his floor game. Marcus Smart I think will continue to get better because I think he’ll work at it.”
Marcus Smart may never get to an All-Star level, but Goodman still thinks he can get somewhere close to it “I’m not sure he can ever crack that top group, but he can definitely get into that next tier. Will he ever be a pure point guard? No. He doesn’t have that vision Rondo has. Rondo sees things players don’t”
To hear the entire interview with Jeff Goodman of ESPN tune into the Celtics Beat Podcast this week with Larry H. Russell.