Rondo hopes next team has 'straightforward coach,' winning culture
Stop if you've heard this one before, but Rajon Rondo is not jelling with his current team.
His first season with the Chicago Bulls hasn't been what he hoped for, and Rondo doesn't anticipate sticking around. So, while the campaign is still in progress, the veteran point guard is already thinking about his next opportunity.
"I'm looking for a straightforward coach," Rondo told the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn following Sunday's loss to the Celtics. "That's what I'm looking forward to the most, sitting down with a coach. I want to develop a relationship and see what his goals are."
The 31-year-old Rondo, who signed with the Bulls last summer, doesn't see them picking up the option on his deal for 2017-18, so he's bracing to hit free agency for the third straight year. Having been on both good and bad teams (and butting heads with multiple coaches and players), the guard yearns for a better situation as his 11th campaign winds down.
"My perspective on things (has changed), I would love to be part of a winning tradition or winning culture," said Rondo, who captured a championship in 2008 with Boston. "I thought I was going to get that here. The people up top are going in a different direction as far as experimenting. It (stinks) when you have the opportunity to make the playoffs and they want to go a different route."
The Bulls tried to go into win-now mode over the offseason when they added Rondo and Dwyane Wade. Ahead of the trade deadline, though, they moved Doug McDermott and a proven vet in Taj Gibson for a package highlighted by Cameron Payne, who they hope will become their point guard of the future.
Despite the roster shakeup, Chicago remains just a half-game back of the eighth seed. The club could very well make a playoff push, but coach Fred Hoiberg appears to be jeopardizing that with seemingly never-ending lineup experiments that favor inexperienced players.
Rondo, who's been coming off the bench for the first time in his career, has publicly criticized the situation, the coach, and the team's leaders, while mentoring and going to bat for the young bucks.
The former All-Star's averaging just 7.1 points, 6.4 assists, and 4.9 rebounds in 26 minutes, while costing the Bulls $14 million.
As frustrating as the year's been, though, Rondo found a silver lining: his lack of floor time allows him to rest, so he feels good and has a better chance of staying healthy for the next organization that dares to take a flyer on him.
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