Not too long ago, fresh off his miraculous 29 pt, 18 rebounds, 13 assist game against the Cleveland Cavaliers - which put him in the company of Oscar Robertson and Wilt Chamberlain - Rajon Rondo was being debated as the best point guard in the NBA. He was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and the keys to the Boston franchise were whole heartedly handed over to him by local and national media.

Curious that now, with Chris Paul announcing he wants out of New Orleans, you'll find some Celtics fans hoping for a switch. Including ESPN's Boston sports guy, Bill Simmons:
"Boston has the hammer offer if they want to make it: Rondo, Perkins, Sheed's ghost, No. 1 + 3m for CP3 + Okafor. NO has to say yes to that."
Rondo has become beloved by the Boston fans. One need look no further than Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals for evidence of this. MVP chants heard roaring through the Garden when the young point guard lay motionless on the court after being bumped hard by Dwight Howard. He's become a clear leader on the team and, while he's clashed with the veterans at times, he's earned their respect. That coupled with his relationship with Doc Rivers, and Rondo clearly seems to be the best fit for Boston.

On the other side, while it's close, Rondo is not quite the same player Paul is. His lack of a jump shot and poor free throw percentage are clear weaknesses. Also, you'd think that one advantage Rondo holds over Paul is his ability to reel in boards. That's not quite the case either. Below are the stats:

Rajon Rondo: 2007-10
PPG: 10.7, AST: 6.8, TRB: 4.4, FT: 63%, FGA: 8.9, FG: 48%, 3P: 24%, STL: 1.9, TOV: 2.3
Chris Paul: 2006-10
PPG: 19.3, AST: 10.0, TRB: 4.7, FT: 84%, FGA: 14.5, FG: 47%, 3P: 35%, STL: 2.4, TOV: 2.6

When the two point guards go head to head, a larger disparity emerges. Rondo and Paul have faced each other 7 times with Boston holding a 4-3 advantage. Here's the stats:

Rajon Rondo
PPG: 10.6, AST: 6.3, TRB: 4.4, FT: 57%, FGA: 10.3, FG: 45%, STL: 2.0, TOV: 2.7
Chris Paul
PPG: 18.7, AST: 8.6, TRB: 3.9, FT: 76%, FGA: 13.1, FG: 48%, STL: 2.4, TOV: 2.1
Chris Paul wants to play with another superstar; favoring the Knicks, Magic, Lakers, Mavericks and Blazers. However, Simmons comments (realistic or not) stir up the debate. Who would you rather have on the Celtics? Chris Paul or Rajon Rondo?

Michael Saver 7/22/2010 05:10:00 PM Edit
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39 Responses so far.

  1. James Edwards says:


  2. Mike Sanders says:


  3. JR says:

    Teams never get equal talent when trading a disgruntled superstar. Celtics don't make that trade based on contracts.

  4. Anonymous says:

    rondo's still a baby. give that kid another year at mark price's shooting camp and he's at the top of the heap with cp3.

  5. Conquistador says:

    Given the amount of improvement Rondo has shown over the past three years, I will take Rondo hands down. He can't keep getting better at the pace he is, but if you look at his 07, 08, 09 stats on a year by year basis he improves tremendously. I tend to be a bit of a loyalist, but, I'm stickin' with tried and true. Chris Paul was 4th overall pick, and Rondo was 21st, Paul also has another year in the league, too.

  6. JR says:

    Btw New Orleans would make that deal with the quickness. They get a cheaper young star point guard who's not coming off an injury and wants to be traded +Perkins+ unload a bad contract + a pick.

    Glad Simmons isn't our GM.

  7. JR says:

    Oh man Saver. You gotta find a better video than that one. lol.

  8. Bohemian says:

    I just don't understand the logic in it. PG is one of our best positions with Rondo and Nate...though Paul is awesome, we really win nothing with the trade. Plus, we'd lose Perk and have a worse contract with Okafor. I like Paul a lot, but we don't really need him in Boston. Rondo is "Larry Birdesque" and still improving. If we somehow added Posey or a SG in the process...I don't know, I'm confused all day about this.

    Let's keep Rondo, please!!!

  9. shelbyl says:

    I pick Rondo.

    Stats don't indicate anything about the potential one player has, their contribution to the team chemistry and such. Besides, Celtics don't need another player with knee problems. We fulfilled that quota with Perk, O'Neal, Garnett...

    I don't think breaking the backbone of Celtics this season would be such a good idea.

  10. Jenda says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  11. Belma9Lu says:

    Chris Paul is overrated and he is Lebron's follower! Boston doesn't need someone like him, and to me Rondo is better than Paul! Plus Chris is always hurt, so what are chances of him playing a full year on some other team.... SLIM TO NONE! He just wants more money, and a ring.. But let's not forget that Simmons rides any bandwagon but Celtics.. He should be kicked out of Boston, moron that he is!!

  12. JR says:

    Lol Jenda. Good to see you back on here.

    Yeah I can't speak for shit. lol.

  13. JR says:

    lol Belma. I'm also getting sick of the whole AAU thing with star players all wanting to team up. You see it in HS basketball where players will all transfer to the same school to create super teams. Be a leader instead. Come on now.

  14. Jenda says:

    Oh, crap. Deleted it by an accident. Well, I'm always here, man. You can count on me. lol

  15. Jenda says:

    "Oh man JR. You really have to express yourself more clearly. "They get a cheaper young star point guard who's not coming off an injury and wants to be traded" - I was thinking "why would Rondo - the cheaper young star point guard who's not coming off an injury - want to be traded?" I got it after third reading.
    Second language, huh?"

  16. Belma9Lu says:

    they think that if they are friends of court , they will be great team players on the court and in many cases that has proven wrong! I am just waiting to see when will all this Heat garbage explode in their faces :) it will be fun show to watch greedy Lebron and snake Wade trying to beat each other on the court while trying to win something!

  17. ChrisK says:

    i partly agree with conquistador. if you look back 3 years rondo has shown tremendous improvement. yes, he was drafted 21st but the suns who drafted him are probably regreting trading him and teams who got players not half as good as him earlier are regreting not picking him. take patrick obryant for example, drafted 9TH OVERALL and he hasent done anything for any teams hes been on (including the celtics)plus hes still in the summer league. but rondo going from a poor player from when he first came to the league to an all star, participating in the USA training camp and not coming off an injury the celtics would just come up with a bad overall trade that wouldnt help them

  18. tb727 says:

    I'd do that trade for the Celtics in a NY minute. Bean can't play 8 feet off Paul. Rajon's a very good player, but Paul's simply better. Plus with the current Celtics team it'd be nice to have an MVP level caliber player. Paul is one whereas I think Rondo's just an all-star.

  19. JR says:

    Rondo + Perk + 1st rounder + not having Okafor's contract > CP3 for 2 years

  20. jeffereigh says:

    Rondo takes over now with little to no jump shot - imagine if/when he develops a jump shot. Which is not beyond the realms of possibility - a jump shot is considerably easier to develop than say for example, blinding speed or instincts or long ass arms...

    I'm not the biggest fan of Rondo as a person (interviewee) but as a player he's awesome and should not be traded.

    He's a talent definitely to build around and once again bleeds green - loyalty has got to be worth something...

  21. sonya says:

    ok this is celticslife.com so im sure u watch the games...rondo'd jumper has definately improved, just as every other aspect of his game. keep rondo. keep perkins. if we had perkins for the one game he missed, in the finals, we would have won it all this year.

  22. Anonymous says:


  23. Anonymous says:

    RONDO!!!!! -dave

  24. ThomasJ says:

    I love Rondo but will say Paul is the best pg in the league right now. But I agree with conquistador that Rondo has and can continue to improve.

    TB, I agree but I would need something more than Okafor. Terrible contract and very overrated. He makes Perk look offensively gifted.

  25. Conquistador is a smart gentleman.

  26. tb727 says:

    Thomas I actually don't think Perkins is that much better than Okafor. Okafor in a situation like Boston would flourish and he's a better offensive player than Perkins.

    I'd do this trade 100% of the time if I were the Celtics.

    And JR- having CP3 for 2 seasons extends Boston's window for 2 more years. Whereas now I feel it's pretty much shut.

    This deal won't get done but I could realistically dream of them knocking off Miami since Paul is right at the level of LeBron and Wade.

  27. earl says:

    SIMMONS must be crazy and out of his mind.. y dont u quit as boston's sports guy and go to where ever the hell paul is going!! WE LOVE RONDO, and the guy is LOYAL look at wtf is paul trying to do abandon his team and would want to follow the infamous james decision!!! RONDO HAS MORE FUTURE AHEAD OF HIM Paul is declining and a faggot!!

  28. JR says:

    Okafor is owed what like 52 million? My suspicions are that the C's didn't pursue Big Al b/c they didn't want to pay another player big bucks and Big Al makes less than Okafor and is a better player.

    Chris Paul will also demand a max contract. I can't see the Celtics ownership spending al that money. And if they were willing, they would have been better off just using it this Summer on a guy like Big Al.

  29. tb727 says:

    Yes but Perkins' contract is up soon and he's going to want similar money. I think Okafor would flourish being a teammate of Ray Allen and having the pressure to be the 5th starter is much more tolerable than the 2nd or 3rd go-to guy on the team.

    Rondo's very good but Paul's better. It's like saying you'd take Larry over Paul Pierce. Chris Paul has another level in him; I think he would've willed the Celts to victory in Game 7 vs the Flakers.

  30. JR says:

    We might have beat the Lakers last yr with CP3 (if he was healthy), but then again through the majority of the playoffs Rondo was being called the MVP of the postseason, so maybe we don't make the Finals without him.

    But moving forward I believe the Heat are a much bigger challenge than LA. I also believe that Rondo is a better player than he's allowed to be. Imagine asking Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, or Steve Nash to play in a slow down system?

    The Celtics need to be adding young athletes to Rondo. You'll see if he make the USA team how well Rondo will look with athletes on the wing.

    Anyway this is all just a waste of time. CP3 doesn't want to come here. We're just not a desirable landing spot for NBA players for one reason or another. Matt Barnes just took the minimum to sign with the Lakers over us and Brewer chose the Bulls over us.

    So no real reason to discuss trading the best player on our team, who also happens to be really young and is a ton of fun to watch.

  31. Well, I think if we've learned anything from this whole debate, it's "Be Yourself".

  32. JR says:

    And the M&M's with nuts are better than the plain ones.

  33. Anonymous says:

    cool video but poor quality

  34. Anonymous says:

    I'm so hard

  35. Anonymous says:

    I just want to bust my load right now

  36. RoswellSounds says:

    What Rondo lacks, He´ll improve. Where he excels, he will make history. I can´t believe that some people are taking seriously this bullshit! Trade??? In Doc´s last year? Rondo was here from the start of this project. And I hope that he retires as a CELTIC.
    How anyone in his/her right mind would even consider a trade like this? Paul can stick his 20 p/game in his ass. Go to Miami,NY,Alaska...

    I thought that when we spoke about the C´s, about UBUNTU, we left it clear what kind of players deserved the honor. And now they´re talking about swapping RAJON RONDO? We have a privilege: Doc Rivers. This is more than a sport, and look if that is not reflected in the court!

    This is Boston. If we´re going go go deep this year, then it´ll be in OUR WAY, not trading RONDO for some market-meat ringless crybaby.
    I can´t tell what will happen in 2011 or 2012. Maybe Paul ends un with the C´s. But not now...

  37. rondo-is-love says:

    In this particular case, I don't really think that these stats really do either guy any justice.

    We have to consider.. CP3 went into New Orleans as their franchise player. He wasn't fighting for minutes with a billion other point guards like Rondo was for that first year. He has yet to be the face of the Celtics and he's had a starting lineup filled with future HOFers who can create their own shots & ones he defers to for the past three seasons.

    Besides, if a trade is being done, we're talking about the present Rajon Rondo and the present CP3. Put the current Rajon Rondo we have before us, improvements & all, on a team like the Hornets and I'm sure his stats will fill up.. and that's without a consistent jumpshot paired with horrible free throw shooting.

    Can you imagine what kind of damage Rondo could do if/when he develops a more consistent jumper and improves his free throw shooting? Hot damn!

  38. Anonymous says:

    If its not broke don't fix it, CP3 just seems to be injured and swapping point guards just wouldn't make sense. I was at the Garden game 4 of the celtics cavs series and it was amazing. Going after younger players would make more sense

  39. The Keymaster says:

    It is broke- they didn't win the title. Since when is finishing in second place something good? Paul's better than Rondo, get him Danny!

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