Take the Celtics that we have known and loved for the last several years and subtract Pierce, KG, Doc, and Ray Allen. What's left? Rajon Rondo. Looking forward, who's the focal point of everything the Celtics are planning? Rajon Rondo. So who has the most pressure on him to succeed? You guessed it. Rajon Rondo.
John of Red's Army does a great job of pointing out three "firsts" that will make Rondo's life a little more interesting next year. Go read the whole thing, but the firsts are as follows.
- He's coming off his first major surgery
- He's not being coached by Doc Rivers
- He doesn't have to keep any Hall of Famers happy anymore
True on all counts and that makes for a lot of variables surrounding a guy that is extremely unpredictable to start with. I saw someone tweet the other day that it would be JUST like Rondo to come out and score 25 points a game and only average 6 assists next year because that's the last thing people would expect.
I'll pile on some more variables too. He's got 2 years left on his very reasonable contract. Ainge could extend him at any time, or he could trade him at any time. But sometime between now and 2 years from now he has to prove to the world that he's worth a max contract. Provided he isn't re-injured or a total, complete headcase, I think it is a given that someone out there would give him max money. Debate how much he's "worth" all you want, but given all we know about him, someone would absolutely give him the max. So he has to not screw that up.
Things are never dull or boring with Rajon Rondo. The next year will be the first time since his rookie year that he's had to be on a rebuilding team. How will he handle that and all the firsts mentioned above? I'm on the edge of my seat already.