Jan 23, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (9) shoots over Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Kyle Korver (26) in the first quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Rajon Rondo is about to go through a stage where he has to lead the Celtics back to the promised land from which they came. By 2017, the Celtics rebuilding effort should be over by a year or two. At worst, it should just be finishing.
SB Nation did a list of their projected top 100 players in 2017. Keep in mind that this is only a projection, not something that you should take as concrete or be disgruntled about.
Three Boston Celtics were placed in this top 100 list. The highest of those three Celtics was Rajon Rondo. Rondo came in at the 34 spot for the Celtics. Pending any top draftees in the next few years, this will be the Celtics top player according to this list.
Here’s what SB Nation writer and Celtics fan, Paul Flannery, had to say about Rondo’s ranking on the list.
"I’ve long ago given up ranking Rondo by conventional measures. He’s been the best player on the court in playoff games with certain Hall of Famers and verified All-Timers, and he’s disappeared at other times. My biggest concern is his lack of a consistent jumper as he ages, especially coming off an ACL injury that could begin to erode his dynamic first step. There’s also the fact that Celtics’ offenses have ranked obscenely low with him running the show.Still, I can’t get past the Wilt/Oscar stat lines when the lights shine brightest. He’ll either be the most awesomely weird player in his early 30s or a sad shadow of his former self. I’m betting on the former"
Flannery’s concerns for Rondo’s health and his jump shot are very real and legitimate. I share those same concerns when thinking about the future of Rondo. As he continues to matriculate through the NBA, especially with this ACL injury, Rondo will start to lose speed and athleticism. His IQ will always make up for some of that, but he’ll need to improve his jumpshot from deep to create peak efficiency for the Celtics offense.
If Rondo can develop that, he may have a shot at being higher than projected on this list. Of course, he should still be one of the better point guards in the NBA at this point–even if he doesn’t improve too much on his jump shot.
There were two other Celtics players who made the list. Jeff Green came in at 94 and Avery Bradley came in at 78. Its questionable whether or not these guys will still be on the team at this point, but a tip of my cap goes to SB Nation for attempting to try to make a decent list of 100 players.