Mavericks Worst Move #6: The Rondo Trade
The Mavericks’ decision to trade for former Boston Celtics star Rajon Rondo is similar in a lot of ways to the Odom experiment. However, Rondo was a better player when Dallas traded for him, and the expectations were far higher. In the summer of 2014, Dallas managed to assemble a promising roster, including the return of Chandler.
They even started the season by leading the NBA in offensive rating before they made the fateful decision to trade for Rondo. While they only gave up a first for Odom, the Mavericks gave up a first, a second rounder and three rotation players in Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, and Brandan Wright.
That hurt Dallas’ depth but was supposed to increase their ceiling. It didn’t. Dallas’ offensive slid to fifth, with teams ignoring Rondo when he spotted up and going way under when he used ball screens, begging him to try and shoot from outside. He didn’t even have a positive impact on defense, which they hoped that he would.
The result was that Rondo averaged just 9.3 points on 43% shooting and 6.5 assists in 46 games. After butting heads with Carslie, Rondo was benched with a fake back injury and missed their first-round playoff series. He later left in free agency, leaving Dallas in a far worse position. Meanwhile, Boston later traded Wright for another first-round pick and Crowder in a deal for Kyrie Irving. They made out much better in the Rondo deal than the Mavericks did, safe to say.