Rajon Rondo has been making waves during training at his new team, according to reports from current teammates.
After leaving the Chicago Bulls in free agency, Rondo signed a one year deal worth $3.3 million at the New Orleans Pelicans, where he will be looking to link up with Demarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis.
Rookie wing Jalen Jones said to Jim Eichenhofer, “Everybody was listening to him and getting in the right spots. That’s what you have to have at point guard, because if no one is listening to you, the team is all over the place.”
He wasn’t the only one to praise Rondo’s leadership – former Warrior Ian Clark stated, “He’s a smart player who knows everything that’s going on on the floor. He’s a vocal leader and a competitor. I’ve been talking a lot to him – that’s one guy I think I can learn a lot from.”
This isn’t new, of course. When Rondo was at the Celtics, he was just a much a mentor as he was a player. E’Twuan Moore claimed,
“From being around him, even though it was only one year, I learned a lot. It helped me throughout my career, going to other teams. Maybe if I had been in a different situation as a rookie, I might not have picked up as much as I did. It definitely helped me to stay in the NBA. I don’t know if I’d still be here. I felt like if I could play there in Boston, one of the best teams in the league at the time, I could play anywhere. My confidence went up.”
And it’s not just leading on and off the floor – it’s Rondo’s talent that has impressed his team. Cheick Diallo, a Pelicans youngster, said that the four-time all-star is an “an elite point guard with good vision. Every time I get a rebound, I try to get out and run, so I like a point guard who sees the floor so well. (In halfcourt offense), every time I pick for him, the pocket (pass) is open, so he throws it to me every time. Your hands have to be ready.”
The Pelicans will, rather surprisingly, go into the new season with high hopes for a playoff push – and Rajon Rondo will be central to the campaign.