BOSTON (CBS) — After years of rumors and speculation, the Boston Celtics have traded point guard Rajon Rondo.
The Celtics traded Rondo and rookie Dwight Powell to the Dallas Mavericks for guard Jameer Nelson, forward Jae Crowder, forward/center Brandan Wright, a conditional first round draft pick, a 2016 second round draft pick and a $12.9 million trade exception.
In a related move, the Celtics waived center Vitor Faverani.
“We would like to thank Rajon for everything that he has done for the Celtics organization and the success we have experienced during his tenure with us,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations.
“We would not have won Banner 17 without Rajon and will always consider him one of our most valuable Celtics, both on the court and in the community working with kids. We will always cherish the time he was here,” said Celtics Managing Partners Wyc Grousbeck, Irv Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca and Robert Epstein.
Rondo thanked Celtic fans on Twitter and the trade became official.
Earlier Thursday, Rondo and the Celtics visited Boston Children’s Hospital to help spread holiday cheer.
Rondo, a free agent this summer, averaged 8.3 points, 10.8 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game for Boston this season. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had said throughout the season, and in seasons prior, that his goal was to sign Rondo to an extension and rebuild the team around the pass-first point guard, but decided to cash in on his main trade chip instead.
Rondo, a four-time All-Star, was drafted by the Phoenix Suns 21st overall in 2006 but was traded to Boston for a first round pick and cash. Over his nine-year NBA career with the Celtics, the 28-year-old averaged 11 points, 8.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game, with those numbers jumping to 14.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and six rebounds per game in the playoffs.
Rondo was in his second NBA season when the Celtics won their 17th title in franchise history in 2008, playing a supporting role behind Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. He took a big step that following season, going toe-to-toe with Chicago Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose in the first round, averaging 19.4 points, 11.6 assists and 9.8 rebounds that series. The Garnett-less Celtics were bounced in the second round by the Orlando Magic, with Rondo again nearly averaging a triple-double for the series with 14.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 9.4 assists.
Rondo had one of his best scoring seasons in 2009-10, averaging 13.7 points while shooting a career-high 51-percent from the floor. The Celtics made another NBA Finals in 2009-10, with their point guard averaging 15.8 points and 9.3 assists in the playoffs, though they fell to the L.A. Lakers in seven games.
He averaged 19 points per game in a four-game sweep over the New York Knicks in the first round of 2010-11 playoffs (adding a 20-assist game in Game 3), and scored 44 points in Game 2 of the 2011-12 Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.
At times, Rondo was seen as a big time player when the spotlight was on, often having some of his best games on national TV. He’s recorded 156 double-doubles in his career, and an eye-popping 22 triple-doubles — 10 of which have come in the postseason.
While he carried the teams at points when father time caught up with the new “Big Three,” it wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops with Rondo. There were rumors that he clashed with Ray Allen, and didn’t always get along with head coach Doc Rivers.
He tore his ACL in the middle of the 2012-13 season, playing an overtime session against the Atlanta Hawks with the injury, and sat out until the middle of the 2013-14 season.
After Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were traded to Brooklyn in the 2013 offseason, Rondo was named the Celtics’ team captain. He did not return until January, but averaged 11.7 points and 9.8 assists in 30 games. In the middle of the season, there was a minor controversy (known as “BirthdayGate”) when Rondo stayed in L.A. on a scheduled off-day to celebrate his birthday while the rest of the team traveled for their game in Sacramento. That “controversy” was shrugged off by the Celtics.
Then just prior to this season, Rondo broke his hand on a fall in the shower and missed all of training camp. But he was good to go for opening night, logging 13 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds in Boston’s season-opening win over Brooklyn.
Rondo has said throughout this season that he wanted to remain in Boston, but that he also wanted to test the free agent waters and felt he was worth a max contract. With no guarantee that he’d return this summer, and with rookie Marcus Smart waiting in the wings to take over, Ainge cashed in on his best trade asset. And so begins another rebuild for the Boston Celtics.
Jameer Nelson, a 6’0” guard, has appeared in 23 games for the Mavericks this season and is averaging 7.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 25.4 minutes per game over that span.
Jae Crowder, a 6’6” forward, has appeared in 25 games this season for the Mavericks and is averaging 3.6 points on .434 shooting from the field and 1.2 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game.
Brandan Wright, a 6’10” forward/center, has appeared in 27 contests for the Mavericks this season and is averaging 8.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 18.7 minutes per game.
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