Last season, Rajon Rondo frequently did not see eye to eye with Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle. Rondo was traded to the Mavericks midway through the season and often butted heads with Carlisle. Everything reached a boiling point in the playoffs when Rondo was basically sent home with a phantom back injury. The Mavs even decided to not let Rondo get a share of their playoff earnings.
Dallas cut ties with Rondo in the offseason, opting not to re-sign him. Saddled with a damaged reputation, the veteran guard did not receive a lot of interest on the free-agent market and could only get a one-year deal with the Sacramento Kings.
But Rondo has played quite well with the Kings, averaging 12.4 points, a league-leading 11 assists and 7.3 rebounds and is once again being considered as one of the better point guards in the league. Rondo’s play has even caught the eye of Carlisle, who thinks the Kings point guard could be in line for a big deal next summer.
“He’s a max player next year,” Carlisle told reporters on Sunday. “Someone’s going to have to back up the truck to get him.”
While Rondo probably won’t get a max deal next summer, if he is able to maintain his high level of play all season, the Kings guard will more than likely get a long-term contract. This was Rondo’s plan when he signed the one-year deal — play at an All-Star level again and earn a long-term deal in the summer.
Rondo could be in high demand next summer, as several teams could use a point guard of his caliber on their roster. However, don’t confuse Carlisle’s praise to mean a reunion between Dallas and Rondo. That ship has clearly sailed.