The Boston Celtics are in full rebuilding mode around new head coach Brad Stevens, and a huge key to an eventual turnaround will be 27-year-old point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo is recovering from ACL surgery on his right knee and reports now suggest he could be out until at least December.
The team has not set a timeline for its star, but most expect that Rondo won’t even be close to ready when the 2013-14 season tips off. Stevens even went so far as to say it was “unlikely” Rondo would be ready for the season opener.
Rondo is a seven-year veteran and a four-time All-Star, who has led the NBA in assists per game in each of the past two seasons. He has also been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams five times (first team twice, second team twice, third team once). He’s by far Boston’s best player and the one guy they will be able to rely on in the near future.
During the 2012-13 season he played in 38 games before being injured. He averaged 13.7 points, 11.1 assists, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 3.9 turnovers per game. He also shot 48.4 percent from the field.
While Rondo’s gruff personality hasn’t endeared him to those in Boston’s front office, the team’s brass knows it needs him. Rondo has been combative with coaches in the past and Stevens will have his hands full when his star player does return.
For now, expect Avery Bradley to run the point guard spot for the Celtics with rookie Phil Pressey backing him up.
While that duo isn’t exactly impressive, it’s not terrible either. Both guys bring skills to the table, they’re just raw. If the Celtics plan on moving Rondo at some point in the near future, they need to find out what they’ve got in Bradley and Pressey, so their time filling in could serve as an audition.