New Orleans Pelicans rumored to be interested in PG Rajon Rondo

Jan 14, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo (9) reacts after a play during the first half against the New Orleans Pelicans at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 14, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo (9) reacts after a play during the first half against the New Orleans Pelicans at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

As the 2017 offseason continues, there have been reports that the New Orleans Pelicans are interested in the services of point guard Rajon Rondo if he’s waived by the Chicago Bulls. 

Last season, Rajon Rondo averaged 7.8 points, 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game with the Chicago Bulls despite a tumultuous tenure in which he lost playing time and was benched. In spite of adversity, Rondo triumphed in helping lead the Chicago Bulls to the playoffs against the Boston Celtics.

Unfortunately, his playoff stint was cut short due to injuries to his right hand and wrist.  In the games leading up to the playoffs, Rondo was phenomenal in helping bridge a divided locker room and leading the offense with ex-Bull Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade to an eighth seed.

With Jimmy Butler being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2017 NBA Draft for three promising, young players the Bulls are in a full, rebuilding mode that might see Rajon Rondo change uniforms this summer.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the New Orleans Pelicans are interested in his services if waived. This brings a unique situation to the Pelicans who are looking to fill the void if Jrue Holiday decides to join another club.


In just looking from an outside perspective, Rondo would be a perfect fit as the lead guard for this franchise. He’s a top-10 PG with championship pedigree that can run any offense and create plays for others. This is an area that the Pelicans lacked last season with players trying to make shots out of iso’s or either just jacking it up and hoping for a prayer.

Rondo can alleviate this burden by being a floor general that pushes the pace in transition and set the offense in half-court situations.

Placing him alongside cornerstones Anthony Davis and Boogie Cousins would propel the offense through a multitude of schemes. Just imagine AD diving as a trailer, Cousins in the pick n’ pop, AD in the pick n’roll, Boogie screens for Rondo at the left elbow leaving an open cutter for an open mid-range shot.

The possibilities are endless. He will help elevate the games of other players as well.

Three key areas that Rondo hasn’t gotten enough credit for is his shot improvement, defense and rebounding. He has worked tirelessly to improve his three-point shot over the past two seasons and it showed at times during games. His defense is still relentless and isn’t afraid to mix it up down low for loose balls.

Most importantly, he brings an edge to the game that can be advantageous to the culture Alvin and Dell are building in the bayou. He can be a perfect fit in this system that not only allows for read and react adjustments, but incorporates many of the Princeton offense principles too.


On the contrary, with the offensive philosophy being geared towards a more post-oriented flow through Anthony Davis and Boogie Cousins one might not deem Rondo a good fit alongside them. Sure, he can orchestrate the offense and put guys in the right positions to score, but because of the team’s need to improve its perimeter shooting Dell might be inclined to look elsewhere to improve the team’s backcourt.

Free agents such as Kyle Lowry, Patty Mills, and our very own Jrue Holiday sit at the top of the list because of their ability to shoot at an effective clip behind the arc. Though Rajon has worked diligently to improve his jumpshot it still isn’t his strength which leads to a sizable margin of uncertainty. This is why Jrue Holiday and guards who are more combo-types will be more sought after due to the versatility of the Pelicans’ cornerstones.

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In Chris Finch’s offense, there isn’t a need for a true point guard since its a position-less system that incorporates a ton of plays from the elbow with high-low actions, backdoor cuts and slashes to the basket. DeMarcus Cousins is pivotal to this type of offense because of his passing ability which leads to another factor of why signing Rondo wouldn’t be ideal.

Of course, the coaching staff can tweak the system to accommodate his strengths and allow him to be more in control of the offense, but that would possibly take away from Boogie serving as an initiator including Solomon Hill.

On many occasions throughout the season, Solomon HIll brought the ball up the court off rebounds and sometimes initiated the offense too. If the team does sign Rondo, roles would definitely need to be changed to allow him to be most effective in pushing the tempo and getting teammates in the right spot.

Overall, the Pelicans can use a player of his caliber to build alongside two of the best big men in the league. He is a solid fit for this team that is in dire need of a consistent floor general to move the offense, set the pace of the game and make the correct pass to the open player. Most importantly, adding another veteran presence in the locker room would be beneficial to the team’s cohesiveness.

The Pelicans are on the verge of competing against the likes of the heavyweights in the Western Conference. Adding Rajon Rondo to the mix will bring us one step closer, but remember it all boils down to the team re-signing its own free agent, Jrue Holiday.