Now we get to some really fun stuff. Everyone weighs in on (perhaps) the biggest question of the offseason:
Rajon Rondo: Should the team build around him or look to see if they can get value for him?
Bill Sy - CelticsBlog
It's all on Rondo. If Danny gets a sense that he wants to be part of the process and will take less than the max to stay in Boston, I think he's absolutely worth the money. In the NBA, you're always looking for players that have clear advantages over their opponents and Rondo is one of them. However, I'm not keen on the idea of "building around him." That term suggests that you go out and find players that complement his playing style. If I've learned anything in these playoffs, it's that player-centric offenses are a thing of the past. What you're seeing these days are offenses that capitalize on constant motion and randomness. It's the San Antonio Spuration of the league.
Nick Gelso - CLNS Radio
It's pretty well documented on our Celtics Post Game Show series that I've never been a huge Rajon Rondo fan. That said, Rajon really impressed me this season. I think, though their record with him on the court does not reflect it, he was a calming force, leading by example and took over as Captain really well. While recovering from injury, his attention to the team, presence at games, etc, showed signs of great leadership qualities, something I've often criticized Rondo for lacking. Not to mention, he really backed up Coach Stevens; I think we were all watching to see how that dynamic developed...
All that said, I believe the Celtics need to build around Rajon Rondo. He's a "once in a generation" type point guard. Though he will never be a 1st option on offense, I've not seen a player able to take over a game offensively, without scoring a point, like Rondo can.
Rajon Rondo can do too many intangible things. I think he's gotta stay.
John Karalis - Red's Army
I'm a Rondo guy. I say that knowing he's got faults and weaknesses on and off the floor. But his strengths are just too much to overlook.
I don't like the term "build around" anymore, though. That's an antiquated idea in the NBA. I prefer the term "build with" because it's hard to win while making any ONE guy your absolute focal point. LeBron couldn't do it in Cleveland, and Durant is struggling to get it done in Oklahoma City. To truly be a champion, you need a lot of people involved.
So that said, I think you an build with Rondo. His skill set is great for one of the building blocks of a good, young team. Not only is he entering his physical prime, he's also geared toward making teammates better. His goal is raising everyone else's game. With the right complimentary star piece, Rondo can absolutely be one of the key players on a contender.
I say all that, though, believing in the "Ainge Exception," which is to say no player is ever "off limits" if the "right deal" comes along (pardon the "excessive use" of "quotation marks"). If an offer rolls in that seems to make the Celtics better with the incoming package than they would be with Rondo, it's Danny Ainge's job to make that evaluation and pull the trigger. I think the league knows well enough that Ainge will listen to offers, so there's no need to go actively shopping Rondo. If someone wows Ainge, then fine. But I'm very content with Rondo as the point guard of the future.
Kevin O'Connor - CelticsBlog
I think I'd lean towards "look to see if they can get value for him." Through my years of playing armchair GM, I tend to side with the notion that no player should every untouchable unless they are above and beyond the rest of the norm -- Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice, LeBron James, Barry Bonds, Larry Bird, just to name a few -- and Rajon Rondo certainly isn't in that category. So, if another team is willing to make an offer that makes sense, it's worth taking it. Because, if that happens, the chances are you're getting a player in return that fits into the "build around him" category anyway. And on top of that, it remains to be seen if Rajon Rondo can adapt to this new style of play. The NBA is rapidly changing and the Celtics are certainly part of that trend, so I question if Rondo is a true fit when he more or less fits the style that fewer teams are using.