If you had to define a true point guard in the NBA, Rajon Rondo would be the definition of every trait that makes one. The Chicago Bulls last season failed to make the playoffs, causing the decision to part ways with former MVP Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, in an attempt to rebuild their roster. When Rondo and Dwyane Wade became available as an option however, Bulls changed their mind and pursued the veterans, to instead, retool their roster. With three ball dominant players, Wade, Rondo and Jimmy Butler shooting a combined 31% from deep last season, it seemed the Bulls added more problems to their offense rather than a solution. But the Bulls not only picked up the leading assist leader last season, they found their most valuable asset to finding success this season.
The Bulls guard isn’t a stranger to helping his team succeed; contributing immensely to the Boston Celtics championship season in 2008. Rondo found success last season with the Sacramento Kings, averaging 11.7 assists. Rondo easily made these assists by slowing the Kings offense to almost a complete stop, then throwing it to a teammate cutting to the basket, or driving in himself and kicking out to a teammate for an easy shot.
It may seem like the former Kings guard was running the floor well but the Kings were actually negative with Rondo on the floor. Kings being outscored by 5.4 points per 100 possessions. Taking a look at some preseason games with the Bulls, Rondo completely adjusted to Hoiberg’s offense. Rondo instead of holding the ball, would move the ball much more letting everyone have a chance to find a opportunity to score. With a team that isn’t known for great shooting performances, Rondo allows players like Wade and Butler to run the offense, helping them score off isolation plays and finding Rondo to finish the play, similar to the offense of Chris Paul.
The offense running much smoother with the 3x All-Star moving the ball around more. Bulls are adding more depth with Wade and Butler working on their three point shooting and rookie Denzel Valentine to add to their threat. Rondo has a ton of All-Star talent to work with and is willing to evolve and improve his game to fit and improve Hoiberg’s offense. We all remember the disaster that was the Dallas Mavericks trade for the former Celtics player. Rondo was unable to fit in their offense because it would leave him open at the three point line, which defenders invited Rondo to attempt. The Chicago Bulls focus on a lot of pick and rolls, isolation and ball movement to find opportunities for a smart drive to the basket, fitting Rondo’s play style more. Not to mention the Veteran is very vocal on the team, playing as a on-court coach at times which proved effective for the Kings.
With Rose and Noah out of the picture, the Bulls have a huge hole to fill without the heart of the team and the last Bulls MVP since Michael Jordan. Rondo is KEY for the Bulls offense if they want to have a successful season with their new retooled roster and an attempt at a playoff run.