While giving his takes on the many trade deadline moves of the day, Hall-of-Famer and TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal had this to say about the LA Clippers’ move that got them Rajon Rondo in exchange for Lou Williams and two second-round picks.
“Leadership wise, the Clippers did a good job by getting Rondo,” O’Neal said. “Of course, championship experience, great leadership experience. Great at moving the ball, getting people involved. At times, [Paul George and Kawhi Leonard] don’t need to have the ball all the time.”
Over the years, many players have attested to exactly what Shaq is saying about Rondo. He’s a great leader, and every Lakers player claimed he was instrumental to their championship run last season.
However, the two-time champion and four-time All-Star has had a rough season so far with the Atlanta Hawks, carrying a -6.2 net rating and posting the highest turnover ratio of his career.
Shaq is right—Leonard and George don’t need to have the ball all the time. But when they DO have the ball and Rondo is on the court, opposing teams are going to ignore him as a shooting threat. While he’s shot the ball well this season (37.8% from three), his career-long reputation as a non-shooter precedes him. Teams will help off of him and put more pressure on LA’s wing stars. It will be interesting to see how Head Coach Tyronn Lue deals with these challenges.
Rondo is one of the most polarizing players in the NBA, but Shaq does bring up an undeniable point: he brings championship experience.