As the Celtics began wiping out their franchise players, many speculators expected Rajon Rondo to be traded as well. Moreover, the loss of Doc Rivers almost assured fans that Rajon Rondo would want out of Boston, since they obviously entered rebuilding mode.
However, starting from ground zero does not daunt, nor dishearten Rajon Rondo. “I love it here,” Rondo quoted. “The fans are great here. And Danny [Ainge] has been straightforward with me. This is my team. Why would I want to leave? Why would I want out? I never really backed away from a challenge. This would be a challenge. I’m looking forward to working with coach [Brad] Stevens. It’s a brand new start for us as a team. A lot of new players and a lot of young guys willing to listen, so I’m very excited.”
Rondo averaged 13.7 points, 11.1 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game before going down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. No timetable is set for his return, but he is expected to return by December or January.
Rondo wishing to remain a Boston Celtic is news that should not come as a surprise to anybody. Although they are currently in rebuilding mode, the Celtics are still one of the most successful franchises in sports history. Danny Ainge is known to do whatever it takes to build a contending roster in Boston, and has proven that plenty of times.
Currently, the Celtics roster includes young prospects such as Avery Bradley, MarShon Brooks, Jordan Crawford, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, whom are all players that Rajon Rondo should be extremely excited for.
During the 2012-13 season, Bradley averaged 9.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.28 steals in 28.7 minutes per game. With Rondo temporarily out of the picture, the 22-year-old youngster will have his chance to shine as the leader of the team.
MarShon Brooks averaged 12.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game during his rookie season. Last year, he averaged 5.4 points per game in limited minutes, while shooting 46% from the field. The 24-year-old prospect is expected to have a breakout season with the Celtics, due to his increased role.
Jared Sullinger is entering his sophomore season. He averaged 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while backing up former Celtic Kevin Garnett. At 22-years-old, Sullinger is yet another Celtic who is expected to see increased minutes. Having the opportunity to learn from Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce has likely been a blessing for the young prospect, but it is time for him to take on a key role and have an extremely productive season for Boston.
Last but not least, Kelly Olynyk is another youngster that Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics should be thrilled about. Olynyk averaged 19.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.2 steals on 57.4 percent shooting from the floor. If he can transfer at least fifty percent of those statistics to the regular season, the young Celtics will be in great shape.
To make matters even better for the Boston Celtics, they will have a payroll of only $46.7 million after the 2013-14 season, which will allow them to sign some solid players during the free agency period. Possible free agents include Andrew Bogut, Luol Deng, Pau Gasol, and Dirk Nowitzki. The future looks bright for Boston, especially after receiving words of commitment from Rajon Rondo.