Although, temporary, I put the bulk of the Celtics inconsistency rest on the shoulders of Rajon Rondo; I was hesitant to give him the elite status at point guard for a number of reasons, but it clear to me he is not yet the leader we need to build, this or the future franchise around. I have maintained here and on the blogs that the ethos of the Celtics for the future passes from Kevin Garnett to Avery Bradley; you heard it hear last year, Avery Bradley is SPECIAL, and as such, the Celtics are built around that identity and should be built around that int he future. As Paul Pierce and his considerable talents had to make room for Kevin Garnett, IF Rondo, wants to stay with the team, he needs to understand that the ethos lies with Avery Bradley.
All the gaudy assist stats, triple doubles, and gambling on defense, has not and does make the Celtics better, going to the next level or even transitioning from the old big three. We are championship - knock-down, drag-out, smash-mouth, grinding-out-ugly-wins - defensive team. I maintain, that if the Celtics are to do any block-bluster trade deals that the centerpiece needs to involve Rondo and not simply ancillary parts. I would not mind seeing a package that involved Rondo and Tyreke Evans as the the center-pieces.
Doc and Danny have a little egg on their face as this was the chief criticism that upset Ray Allen - the reins are not ready to be given to Rondo yet - as it was attempted to use him among to core to improve the team; I think Danny and Doc, privately, know Ray was correct. They know Rondo is about where Paul Pierce was at the same time in career and although they initially traded away Antoine Walker and put young pieces around Pierce, he was not the leader to move us to the next level; that did not happen until Kevin Garnett arrived; and while Pierce is the Alpha Dog, it is Kevin Garnett that makes the whole thing work; and we have witnessed the exact same contribution from Avery Bradley.
It is not that we have to trade Rondo, we just have to make him more accountable and stop dancing around his fragile ego and pointing in every other direction for the root cause of our issues - Jeff Green, Jason Terry, not having a shot blocker, rebounding, etc. etc..
I love Rajon Rondo, but he needs too grow-up and take responsibility for where the Celtics are at this juncture; he wanted Ray gone, he got his Avery Bradley, Doc and Danny has supported him publicly as the leader and took his side; and all he has done since then is be suspended three times - twice for bumping a referee - and led the Celtics to 20-21 record so far.
Ultimately Doc and Danny have to make the call, but pretty soon you have to make the call, if one is called ELITE, you have to be able to take the team to another level, particularly if you playing with two productive Hall of Famers, Jason Terry, and plethora of decent role players. The point guard and the anointed leader is the extension of the Head Coach, and it all starts there. The idea the if we just tweak the twenty-two minutes Jeff Green gives us, find a power forward instead of Brandon Bass that can block a shot or get Marcin Gortat or Josh Smith (Mr. bad shot selection himself) is going to solve the core issue, I say not.
Not that we have to trade him, but we are in for a rude awakening if the entire transition is turned over to Rajon Rondo and there is a chance that if he demands that it is, that he could be a cancer, wherein the other players simply tune him out. The Celtics are at a critical juncture in their development. I hope that I am wrong, but there is an old saying that says, "if you do not bark as a pup, don't expect it when he is a dog". Leadership is a special talent, and its embodiment is in the spirit of action (Kevin Garnett and Avery Bradely) and my hope is that Rajon Rondo can figure that out and learn his still important role as Paul Pierce did with the arrival of Kevin Garnett.