Oct 11, 2013; Newark, DE, USA; Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (9) watches warmups prior to the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center. The Sixers defeated the Celtics 97-85. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Every season, the NBA surveys the general managers of all 30 teams in the league. They vote on things like the MVP winner, the NBA Finals winner and the Rookie of the Year winner. They take the votes, tally them up and then show them to the public. It isn’t disclosed which GM voted for what, but you can tell that some GMs don’t really care about this because of who they voted for.
I’m not sure if this was to be expected or not, but the Boston Celtics don’t have any players voted in first for anything. The first thing that came to mind was the vote on who the best passer in the league was. Most GMs voted for Chris Paul and it wasn’t even close. Paul had 46.7% of the voting in that category.
Now, Paul is a great passer. But Rajon Rondo has lead the league in assists per game for the last two seasons–he still qualified last season because his gaudy number of total assists were above the set criteria. Rondo, to me, is far and away the best passer in the league. He tied for second with Ricky Rubio with 16.7% of the voting going to both of them.
All of these players are phenomenal assist men and passers in general, but you would think that leading the league in assists would mean something. This is the second year in a row Rondo didn’t place first in this category on the NBA GM survey. Last season he was behind Steve Nash even though he averaged nearly 12 assists per game. The Boston Celtics’ offense has barely hung on because of Rondo’s assists
For three straight years Rondo has averaged above 11 assists per game. I can understand him not placing first–in a per minute sense–but I just don’t see how so many GMs feel that he isn’t the best passer in the league. For two seasons in a row, Rondo has lost to someone with over 40% of the voting. We’re not sure what the exact criteria of the NBA GM survey is, but this is kind of ridiculous.
Maybe it’s because of Rajon’s shaky history with the NBA and his alleged attitude problem? We don’t know. But when he returns to the Boston Celtics, I expect more of the same from him. And the chip on his shoulder should be even bigger.
Rondo isn’t the only Celtic who was slighted by this voting–Kelly Olynyk was somewhat left of pertinent categories on the NBA GM survey as well. When asked who would win Rookie of the Year, Olynyk did not receive one vote. Victor Oladipo dominated the voting at 80%. When asked which rookie will be the best player in five years, Olynyk only received 6.7% of the voting. Oladipo, again, dominated things with 40% of the votes.
Now, Olynyk did come in first when asked who was the biggest steal when they were selected in the draft. He garnered 27.6% of the available votes–a respectable percentage. So there are some GMs who think that he will have a respectable career.
But it’s shocking, to me, that Olynyk didn’t place better on the initial questions. In the NBA’s rookie survey, Olynyk was voted as the early Rookie of the Year favorite by his peers. He finished atop NBA.com’s rookie ladder and had a stellar summer league showing. He’s been decent–but not dominant–in the preseason and has showcased much skill. For him to receive no votes for early Rookie of the Year favorite from NBA GMs seems weird to me.
But, hey, this team has very low expectations so the players will along with it. We’ll see how things pan out for Rondo and Olynyk as this season progresses for the Boston Celtics. Hopefully we’ll see big things from them both in the future. I’d like to see them both prove this survey wrong.
VOTE: Do you think Rajon Rondo and Kelly Olynyk deserve more respect?