Rajon Rondo went through ups and downs in his first season with the Chicago Bulls. However, he managed to bounce back and currently making a huge impact in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Will the Bulls bring Rondo back next season?
Before the start of the season, most people didn’t see the Bulls’ “Three Alphas” of Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, and Jimmy Butler bringing success in Chicago. Their lack of shooting skills became one of the major reasons why the Bulls failed to become consistent in the 2016-17 NBA regular season. Of all the three superstars, Rondo is believed to be an odd fit in Chicago.
Fortunately, Rondo earned the chance to prove himself in the remaining games of the season. When he returned to the starting lineup, the Bulls went 10-6 and grabbed a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. As of now, they are two wins away from completely upsetting the East No. 1 seed Boston Celtics.
Rajon Rondo hopes Chicago Bulls bring him back next season
Rondo signed a two-year, $27.4 million deal with the Bulls last summer. Rondo expressed his intention to return to the Bulls next season even if Dwyane Wade opts out of his contract this summer.
“Yeah, I like where I’m at. I think we have a really good team,” Rondo said. “We made a big trade halfway through the season. All the things this year with 45 different lineups, we still made it to the playoffs. Right now, just try to stay consistent as possible and develop some chemistry. This team was put together in a couple months with, I think, 10 new guys. It’s hard to jell that quickly, especially if guys don’t have the right mindset. Organizations have to give guys a little bit of time to grow and learn each other.”
According to K.C. Johnson of Chicago Tribune, the Bulls have until June 30 to decide whether to fully guarantee his $13.4 million salary or buy him out for $3 million. With his current performance, it will not be a surprise if the Bulls grant his request to play for the team next season.
Coach Fred Hoiberg finally sees Rondo’s worth
In their Game 2 win, Rondo finished with 11 points, 14 assists, and nine rebounds. He becomes the second player in Bulls history to put up 10 assists and five steals in a postseason game. Coach Fred Hoiberg praised Rondo’s performance on both ends of the floor.
“He’s been in a lot of big moments, championship experience, and he’s going to continue to lead us as long as we are playing,” Hoiberg said.
Photo courtesy: Aaron Frutman/Flickr
Video courtesy: Youtube/NBA Conference