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2017 NBA Free Agency: Pelicans to sign Rajon Rondo

New Orleans grabs a point guard to slide Jrue Holiday off the ball.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Chicago Bulls Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans have reached an agreement with free agent Rajon Rondo according to Shams Charania of The Vertical. (Related, Shams beating Adrian Wojnarowski to scoops the past two weeks has been a fascinating follow.) Terms have not yet been reported.

Rondo has struggled to fit at times since the Boston Celtics began their rebuild by trading away Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. He famously did not receive a playoff share with the Dallas Mavericks in April 2015 — the injury that kept him out for the remainder of the playoffs was invented by the team to keep him off the court. Rondo was then suspended a game with the Sacramento Kings in December 2015 after using a gay slur towards referee Bill Kennedy, who announced he was gay in the days following the incident. Then, in December 2016 he was suspended by the Chicago Bulls for conduct detrimental to the team.

Last season Rondo averaged 7.8 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.1 rebounds while playing 26.7 minutes per game for the Bulls. He was far better in the playoffs and Chicago held a 2-0 lead over the Boston Celtics before a broken thumb kept him out of the remainder of the playoffs. Despite his reputation as a poor shooter, Rondo has shot 36.7% (131/357) behind the arc since leaving Boston, although defenses dare him to take those shots.

His relationship with DeMarcus Cousins was a key factor in bringing Rajon Rondo to New Orleans according to The Advocate’s Scott Kushner. If you ask the casual fan who has seen Rondo in the playoffs recently or on national TV this signing is great. If you ask a writer for the Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, or Chicago Bulls who has watched Rondo on a consistent basis, this is a better representation of their response.

I would not rule out another couple moves, or even a trade, before the Pelicans wrap up their summer. Dante Cunningham is still a free agent although New Orleans owns his bird rights. Moving wasted salary, like Omer Asik or Alexis Ajinca, is likely still high on Dell Demps’s to-do list. I would expect, barring a significant trade for another point guard, that New Orleans expects to start Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday in the back court.

Will this plan work?

We’ll soon find out.