After almost two years of hesitation, the Boston Celtics on Thursday finally pulled the trigger on the Rajon Rondo deal. The four-time All-Star and one of NBA's leading playmakers was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson and draft picks.
It is the first real blockbuster trade since the 2014/15 NBA season began – note that the Kevin Love/Andrew Wiggins exchange happened in the off-season. And while Rondo may not be the same player he used to be before tearing his ACL last year, he is still putting all-star caliber numbers and currently leads the league in assists per game (10.8).
A cross-conference move of a ball-sharing PG would likely trigger a series of changes in the NBA. What changes? These:
The Mavs Now Have All The Ingredients To Become Title Contenders
The Dallas Mavericks were already a decent side, but now that they will have Rondo running the point instead of Jameer Nelson, they can be genuine title contenders for the first time since winning their maiden ring in 2011.
Expect The Celtics To Become The New 76ers
For the Celtics, the next few seasons will be tough. They should get accustomed to losing streaks and hope they aren't of historic proportions.
Rondo Could Reestablish Himself As The Best PG In The Game
His injury and lack of elite talent around him have taken a toll on Rondo's numbers. With Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen around him his APG twice crossed the 13 mark and always hovered around 12. In Dallas, he will again be surrounded by some excellent shooters, meaning his numbers would get a boost and he might close the gap on Chris Paul, Stephen Curry and the likes.
The West Gets Even More Stacked
The Western Conference's playoff teams were already loaded with elite talent, and Rondo's arrival has created another side capable of going all the way. It will be a bloodbath come playoff time.
The Mavs Arguably Have The Most Balanced Starting 5
The starting five of Tyson Chandler, Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, Monta Ellis and Rondo doesn't just have the star power; it also has the right defensive and offensive balance. Mark Cuban's side now has strong inside presence, rugged perimeter defense, go-to scorers, excellent shooters, and an unselfish ball handler.