It appears as though Rajon Rondo will indeed be playing for Team USA during the World Championships in Turkey later this month and into September - quite possible as its starting point guard.
While it's been assumed for several weeks now that Rondo's spot on the final roster is secure, there were certainly no guarantees as the initial cuts began. He continued to avoid the rejection notice this past weekend as the roster was trimmed from 15 players to 13 players. Both JaVale McGee and Jeff Green were let go, leaving the number of players Team USA still needs to cut at a mere one.
All signs point to Rondo being safe, however, as he assumed the starting point guard role in Team USA's 86-55 victory over France at Madison Square Garden - the latest vote of confidence from head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Director of USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo. Rondo finished with six points, six assists, three turnovers and two rebounds in 19 minutes of action.
Rajon Rondo has not only secured a spot on the 12-man roster, he is pegged now as the team's starting point guard.
Although officials haven't indicated who is on the bubble for not being added to the 12-man roster, all indications point toward the next player cut will be either Stephen Curry of Golden State, Eric Gordon of the Los Angeles Clippers or Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City.
Colangelo wouldn't tip his hand as to what direction Team USA is leaning.
It shouldn't come as much of a shock that Rondo's a near lock to make the final squad, as there have been many indications along the way that that would indeed be the case.
Back on July 28 there was the talk of his leadership and the appreciation for his will to win:
Mike Krzyzewski: "I thought I developed a really good relationship with him during the week, and his pressure on the ball, defense, but his will to win is something that I truly admire, and we need that. Plus he's a little bit older with the -- not in age as much -- but with experience because the Celtics have gone so deep and have won one of the recent NBA championships. So I think we're very fortunate to have him."
Then there were the reports that Team USA was looking to win with defense, athleticism/speed, and three-point shooting. Rondo certainly fit the mold for those first two criteria.
"It starts with Rondo," said Team USA and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. "He wants to play defense. And he knows that the people behind him are playing defense, too."
Whether its due to his experience, his leadership, his collection of skills, or a combination of all three and more, Rondo should be packing his bags for Europe. For those of you worried about Rondo playing a ton of minutes, he actually had similar concerns, which have since been put to rest.
In fact, one of his concerns about joining Team USA was the amount of wear and tear it would take on his body.
But after talking with Team USA officials and Krzyzewski, it was no longer an issue.
"Me and Chauncey were talking about [playing reduced minutes], we don't have a problem with it," Rondo said. "We're not complaining in this game about minutes. I love to play. We're still young and I want to play every minute I can in an NBA game, but here, it's a different task. We have so many different weapons here. I'll be happy clapping on the bench as well."