BOSTON - Nobody knew it at the time, but Rajon Rondo to Dallas was addition by subtraction for the Celtics, and vice versa for the Mavericks.
The trade that sent Rondo and Dwight Powell to the Mavs for Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright, a Mavs first-round pick and a second-round pick has been a colossal failure for the Mavs.
Rondo has had reported multiple run-ins with head coach Rick Carlisle in his short time there and at the same time hasn't made the Mavericks any better. In fact, their offense has taken a hit with him on the court.
Rondo played just 10 minutes in Dallas' Game 2 loss to the Houston Rockets, which we now know is partially due to a bad back. But make no mistake about it - the back isn't the main issue. It's also about the attitude he's had in Dallas while not being able to jell with his head coach and teammates.
After ruling Rondo out indefinitely with the back injury, Carlisle said on Wednesday that he doesn't see Rondo wearing a Mavericks jersey again, which put the final touches on the thought that Rondo would not re-sign in Dallas after this season anyways.
Earlier on Thursday, Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge briefly touched on the situation in Dallas with Rondo, saying, ""I'm very surprised," Ainge said. "I thought it would be a good fit for both of them. I don't really know what's going on down there..."
Later that day, Rondo's former coach Brad Stevens was asked if he, too, was surprised at how everything has unfolded.
"Yeah. I am," Stevens said. "And I haven't paid as much attention or read every article or even really watched anything on it. Obviously aware of it.
"I've said many times I felt like Rajon had played really well at the start of the year. I thought that I had coached him at a really tough time for him, simply because last year he was just overcoming and coming back from that ACL tear and not having any practice, which is really unique. So it was just a matter of getting the feel a little bit better. Was around him a lot this summer, was around him a lot this fall. He had the unfortunate hand break at the start of the season and put him a little bit behind again, although I thought he played pretty well here. So yeah I was a little bit surprised."
Who would have thought Jae Crowder would play in more playoff games this season than Rondo? It's yet another trade that Ainge and the Celtics have won.