As an avid Mavericks fans, the mid-season addition of Rajon Rondo was surreal. The word championship was being thrown all around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And for good reason too. On paper, he immediately filled two holes on the team that the Mavericks desperately needed. The Mavs were ranking in the bottom 10 for perimeter defense and rebounding. Two areas that Rondo is known to excel at. On paper, he was the player that Dallas needed to push them into the upper echelon of the Western Conference and the NBA. However, that was all on paper.
As these past 3-4 months have shown, the Mavericks are not as advertised after the Rondo trade. Their offense has plummeted from historically great, to barely in the top 5. Being in the top 5 on offense isn’t bad, but considering before the trade the Mavs were on pace to be the best offense of all time, its very bad. Ellis and Rondo are both ball-dominant guards. They can’t play off the ball because neither of them are jumpshooters. Rondo is a horrifying jumpshooter and without the ball, he’s practically useless on offense. He’s a good finisher, but his play style isn’t aggressive enough to cut. Rondo is a player that creates offense, but the Mavs have a system that creates the offense with multiple passes and screens, so it doesn’t fit. Ellis can play off the ball, but only for short spurts at a time. He’s an average jumpshooter but when he catches fire, he’s a good shooter.
The backcourt situation should be one of the first things on the Mavs offseason list. These past few months have proven that Rondo and Ellis are not a fit. Only one can fit. If the Mavs lose Rondo, they might be able to pry Brandon Knight from the Phoenix Suns or sign Jeremy Lin. They are both young and play defense and are both good enough shooters to play off the ball. If Ellis leaves, we can sign Danny Green, Aaron Afflalo, or even Gerald Green. They are all good enough shooters to play off the ball and are good enough defensively to keep the perimeter defense from plummeting. But the best option, would be to keep Ellis, let Rondo go, and sign Knight or Lin.
-Brian Nguyen LRHS