The Rajon Rondo era might be over for the Sacramento Kings. Rondo, who signed a one-year, $10 million contract last summer, is heading into free agency in July. ESPN's Zach Lowe reported that he is not a lock to return:
The latest scuttlebutt is that the Kings are prepared to cut bait with Rajon Rondo if the bidding for him gets beyond a certain threshold that is lower than we might imagine, given the Kings' recent transaction history.
Here's the best argument for keeping Rondo: he had his best season since tearing his ACL in January 2013, averaging 11.9 points, 11.7 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals while shooting 45.4 percent.
Here are a few arguments against keeping him:
1. Those numbers are nice, but he often appeared to be stat-hunting, chasing assists at the expense of simply running a sound offense.
2. His defensive intensity left a lot to be desired, a frustrating fact because he has shown he is capable of being one of the better defensive point guards in the league when engaged. This was a team-wide problem for the Kings, but Rondo did not help.
3. Rondo is 30, so he should be looking for a long-term deal for as much money as possible. That's risky for a team that is nowhere near contention and just hired a new coach. After his years with the Memphis Grizzlies, does Dave Joerger really want to try to compensate for a lack of shooting again?
4. Sacramento has a capable point guard in Darren Collison on the roster, and matching rights on another, Seth Curry. Neither of them is necessarily the Kings' point guard of the future, but the Kings don't need to be desperate here.
5. In December, Rondo directed a homophobic slur toward referee Bill Kennedy, who came out as gay after the incident. Everything about this was ugly.
Bringing back Rondo probably won't be worth it to Sacramento, and it's unclear if he'll even want to stay there. Why, after a year full of drama and dysfunction, should returning to the Kings be his No. 1 priority? He is a divisive player whose free-agency options might be limited, but he should explore every option he has.