A scout from a rival team in the Western Conference allowed ESPNDallas.com to pick his brain about the Rajon Rondo deal, in which the Dallas Mavericks gave up center/forward Brandan Wright, point guard Jameer Nelson, small forward Jae Crowder and first- and second-round picks to get the four-time All-Star point guard and rookie power forward Dwight Powell.
What’s your take on the trade?
“Dallas was always going to struggle with their point guard spot. I thought they had all the pieces except for that spot. Giving up Wright, if [Tyson] Chandler stays healthy, that’s great, but that can be a concern. But they had to get themselves better at point guard. It seems like a lot to give up, but that was the one spot they had to firm up. Will it bite them with some depth issues? It could. Wright was playing well and Crowder is a good energy guy.”
How will Rondo fit offensively?
“They don’t really need a shooting point guard. They have plenty of scorers. They got someone who can dish the ball. If Dallas would have went after a scoring point guard, they might have had some issues [with players fighting for shots]. I still think Rick [Carlisle] gives Monta the ball at the end of quarters. They need somebody to facilitate and get [the scorers] the ball. If Rondo does that, they’ll be fine. Teams will back off of him. He’s going to have to improve his shooting, but he has so many shooters around him and he’s deceptively quick. He can drive the ball with spot-up shooters around him.”
“I’m curious to see how he handles the internal locker room issues. Who’s going to be the leader? Will he conform? I’ve heard some concerns about him in the locker room, but Rick usually does a good job with those kind of guys. It’s worked out well with Monta.”
How good is Rondo defensively at this point in his career?
“He’s a competitor. He’s got long arms, big hands, quick hands. He gets away with things that other guys can’t because of his quick hands. He might not be what he used to be defensively, but he’s still pretty good.”