Rondo: 'Building Something Special In Dallas'

DALLAS - 'I look forward to building something special in Dallas,' Rajon Rondo says on Twitter, and on paper, the Mavs' starting five is as 'special' as any in the NBA. Assorted thoughts, takes and tips inside, along with Rondo's own thoughts on the blockbuster trade:

The Dallas Mavericks started knocking on the Rajon Rondo door 15 months ago, with a call from Dallas GM Donnie Nelson to Celtics GM Danny Ainge. But the two good friends never created a match then.

They have now.

On Thursday late afternoon, sources told that it’s a “done deal’’ with only one final moving piece yet to be agreed upon: The Celtics traded All-Star point guard Rondo to the Mavs in a deal that moves Dallas’ valued backup center Brandan Wright to Boston along with Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson a 2015 first-round draft pick and a future second-rounder.

The Mavs also asked for a “young big man,’’ either Jared Sullinger or Dwight Powell, sources say. (It's the 6-11 kid Powell.)

Rondo will give Dallas a star-studded starting lineup of Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, Tyson Chandler, Monta Ellis and Rondo, a brilliant assist man and rebounder who has been All-NBA Defense second-team twice in his career.

"The opportunity to play with guys like Dirk, Monta, Tyson and the young talent of Chandler is exciting,'' Rondo tweeted.

The Mavs entered this process confident that Rondo, a free agent in the summer, will wish to re-up in Dallas. He's at $12.9 mil now. Bird rights will be with the Mavs, and he's max-eligible. The dollars and cents are an issue for another day, but know that Dallas will operate as over-the-cap team (yet stay under tax line).

Assorted thoughts, takes and tips:

*On a bad team with few weapons, Rondo remains the NBA leader in assists. Imagine what he can do, statistically, passing to the weapons he'll be teamed with in Dallas' top-rated offense! As he stands now, Rondo averages 8.3 points, 10.8 assists and 7.5 rebounds per ... a triple-double waiting to happen.

*Heads-up on the chase of yet another big man. With B-Wright gone, the front line looks terribly thin.

*It's time to ask Jermaine O'Neal to come off his Southlake couch.

*I'm told to look for the Mavs to again make a Ray Allen inquiry. Ray and Rondo are "beefing''? I assume the Mavs are as aware as you are. Nevertheless, I pass it on.

*As valuable as B-Wright is, Dallas has just traded the former first-round "bust'' at the very height of his value. Wright's play has been impressive this year; his PER, for those who put stock in it, is a stratospheric 26.1, which is All-Star level. He is a loss.

*This deal is why you don't "give away'' first-round picks, as Dallas has done in the past. You keep them to USE them. On something like this.

*Our Mike Marshall can make the argument that Rondo, over the course of his career, is the fourth-best point guard in the NBA. Debate.

*To the Mavs front office? This is Kidd Redux, similar to the trade that brought J-Kidd back to Dallas (with the price then being much higher).

*The deep friendship of Donnie Nelson and Danny Ainge (Donnie was his Suns assistant 20 years ago and was of course the guy on the other side of that knocked-on door 15 months ago) was a factor here. So was Dallas wishing to defeat Houston GM Morey. Again.

*A frank in-house realization that fueled some of this: Dallas wasn't handling the top five teams in the West with its previous PG situation.

*Has Rondo slipped from the player he was before injury, when he recorded those four All-Star trips? Yup. That's why he was so get-able so cheaply.

*This can be Dallas' solution to its big-guard defense problem. The Mavs' perimeter defense is awful; they get killed by big wings and by quick point guards. Rondo, though just 6-1, is long enough to guard 2's. Ellis could then guard 1's until Devin Harris enters to take on that latter task.

*People who think Rondo dribbles too much must've never seen Jameer play here this year.

*Rondo has a habit of flirting with triple-doubles on a regular basis. What he lacks as a shooter he makes up for by being a standout rebounder at his position and one of the most accomplished assist men in the sport.

*His mom likes to call him "Johnny.


*The Mavs have a practice scheduled for Friday at 10:30 a.m. And they have the Spurs in here on Saturday. Somebody go gas up the plane.

*From Rondo on Twitter: "My time in Boston has meant so much. I've grown up with this city both as a basketball player and person. The love I have for the most loyal And supportive fans in the league is unmatched. My teammates have shown nothing but heart the last couple of seasons. They are some of the hardest working guys I have played with and I wish them the best. I've experienced my most successful and challenging years with the Celtics, fans and city.

And now?

"I look forward to building something special in Dallas,'' he wrote.

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