With Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce out of town, it goes without saying that Rajon Rondo now becomes the center of attention in Boston. And yet, his future as a Celtic is anything but certain.
Ignoring the ACL injury he sustained last season for a moment, one can question if a fully healthy Rondo is in fact the difference maker he's been painted as.
Offensively, he's one of the most challenged point guards in the league, sporting a TS% of a ridiculously low .497 over his last three seasons on low volume (10.7 shots per game), and that's with the element of spacing, neatly provided by Pierce, Garnett and before that, Ray Allen.
Now without those aspects, Rondo needs to utilize lesser weapons in the mold of Jeff Green, Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to get the offense going, which begs the question how the four-time All-Star will fare offensively himself.
Obviously, Boston is tanking. So in the grand scheme of things, Boston's interest in Rondo's adaption to his new teammates are somewhat irrelevant, as a large chunk of the current roster won't be there in 10 months anyway.
But for Rondo, there's actually something at stake.
He's entering the final two years of a five year deal worth $55 million and there's a strong possibility that his next deal will decrease, unless he proves he's more than a system player who relies on the skills of others to free up his own game. And given the make-up of this year's Celtics, it's the least optimal situation he's facing.
Rondo is looking at a team that has no other self-creating players besides himself, has the second-worst spacing in the league (Detroit) and no explosive scorer to consistently seek out in half-court sets.
Jeff Green is the best offensive player on the roster, but has never broken the 17-point barrier. Jordan Crawford has a scorer's mentality, but is a horrid efficiency player (career TS% of .489). Avery Bradley has wonderful defensive potential, but was one of the least efficient offensive players in the NBA last season.
Overall, Rondo is giving very little quality to work with. But ironically, this presents the perfect situation to finally see that Rondo can do on his own.