Rajon Rondo was traded from the Boston Celtics to the Dallas Mavericks early in the 2014-2015 NBA Season. Rajon did not have a good time in a Dallas uniform.
Going from a rebuilding club to a team with multiple veteran players and an All-Star was the ideal situation for Rondo. He had the opportunity to shine once again with a good surrounding cast. He was supposed to elevate the Mavericks to the top of the Western Conference.
However, things quickly turned sour as Rondo and head coach Rick Carlisle would get into verbal arguments. Rondo was not allowed to call plays, that decision rested solely with the head coach. After being allowed to run the show in Boston for the entirety of his NBA career, the decision of not being able to run an offense the way he wanted to did not sit well with him.
After news today that the Mavericks had withheld Rondo's playoff bonus (roughly 14K), it seems as though the situation in Dallas was far worse than anyone knew.
So what happens now?
Rondo is a free-agent as soon as July 1st comes around. He had signed an extension with Boston five years ago, which paid him a total of $55 million. Rondo was expected to command a max contract before his trade to Dallas, but according to Adrian Wojnarowski, a max deal does not exist for the point guard on this current NBA market. Rondo played himself out of big money, but there are still plenty of teams that would want his services.
Los Angeles Lakers
It's rumored Rajon Rondo had planned to ditch the Celtics and head west to join Kobe Bryant and the Lakers (much to the chagrin on Boston fans), however, given the news of how stubborn Rondo can be, would it work with Kobe? It's an experiment the Lakers will want to try, given Bryant has consistently stated how much he wants Rondo on his team.
New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony has also stated how much he wants Rondo to be part of his ball club. The Knicks are coming off an awful season, and any star power to attract crowds is always welcome. Bryant and Carmelo both require the ball in their hands, therefore making either situation interesting if Rondo was to go to either of these teams. Working in Derek Fisher's triangle system would be a change that he would have to embrace.
Goran Dragic is a free-agent this summer as well, and there's no guarantee he'll be back in Miami. Look for the Heat to make a push for Rondo, as he would fill their point guard role very well, and he would be surrounded by Wade and Bosh, two guys who can help Rondo get back to his old ways.
The Pacers have needed a true point guard for quite a while, and with All-Star Paul George back in the fold next season, this is an opportunity for Larry Bird to get his team back to the top of the East. Rondo would be able to get George easy looks, and would probably have control of Frank Vogel's offense. It would make Indiana a more stable team if they have a point guard who can run the offense efficiently.
While it's a toss up to see where he'll land, Rondo does have a few options this summer. His stock is definitely down, but NBA GMs know he has something left in the tank. He won't get the guaranteed money that he might have, but Rondo will be a nice addition to a team looking to make a jump in their respective conference if he plays like he can.