Posted by: Van on February 20th, 2013The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
With the deadline fast approaching, the rumor mill is churning at an near absurd rate. Usually sorting the fact from fiction from the ever growing mess of inside angles and anonymous sources is a near impossible feat. A few teams who’s names seem to keep cropping up with regular consistency are the Clipper and Celtics, and both have pieces the Utah Jazz could potentially covet in young talented point guards. Just today on Hoopshype, GMs are insisting that the Celtics are open to the idea of moving Rondo (a still very injured Rondo), and despite the Clippers protests, Eric Bledsoe seems to be on the market as well.
*Within minutes of posting this Danny Ainge has come out and said that Rondo is officially ”off” the market, hilarious…
My question is given the responsibility of picking one or the other, or potentially passing on both, what would you do? (given each players glaring strengths and weakness’s)
Rajon Rondo (3 yr, 11m)
On one side you have the All Star talent of Rajon Rondo, a superb passer and a skilled defender, clearly the better player out of the two considering his starting background and contribution to a title winning team. But then again Rondo has a torn ACL and his abysmal free throw shooting is well chronicled combined with the fact he averages in the ball park of 12.9 points per 40 minutes, doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence on offensive end.
The flip side is Rondo’s ability to distribute with one of the best pure point guard ratings in the league while averaging nearly an assist per three minutes, Rondo is a true facilitator on the offensive end. Its also important to note that a trade for Rondo would most likely cost you more in the realm of young talent and/or draft considerations on top of the fact of who knows what version of Rondo you would receive post injury.
Eric Bledsoe (2 yr, 1.7m)
This wouldn’t have even been a discusion last year with Bledsoe being sidelined with injury, but if one thing is true about the NBA, your fortunes can change quickly (for better or worse). While Bledsoe and Paul are nearly identical in size, that similarity ends when comparing athletic ability. Bledsoe put his athletic prowess on display over the past weekend and you dont have to delve far into depths of You Tube to find footage of his other athletic feats. Like Rondo Bledsoe is also a fantastic (and arguably superior) defender, and also like Rondo, Bledsoe relies on driving and getting to the rim for most of his offensive production. While Bledsoe has a good knack for creating and drawing fouls, his outside shot still leaves something to be desired (although he is shooting at a much higher clip this year).
The real difference when comparing the two point guards is their ability to distribute the ball, and while Rondo is one of the best in the league, Bledsoe put simply, is one of the worst. As Kevin Pelton outlined today on ESPN “only three starting point guards (Mario Chalmers, George Hill and Isaiah Thomas) hand out assists on a lower percentage of their teams’ possessions”. Another knock against Bledsoe how turnover prone he can be at times and low assist/high turn over rates are often pretty undesirable in todays game.
When comparing the two players, each has some great strengths to their game coupled with glaring flaws. While Rondo is injured and would certainly be more difficult to obtain, he is also more proven. One the flip side you have Bledsoe who offers great upside, a shorter/cheaper contract, certainly a cheaper price, but doesn’t fit as nicely into the point guard role as Rondo.
Then you have your final option, choose neither option, stand pat and take your chances with Mo Williams return and maybe a Trey Burke in the upcoming draft, what would you do?
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