Rajon Rondo on the Clippers is the Ticking Time Bomb We All Want to See

Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo / Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

The start date for the 2021 NBA season is still in flux, and therefore so is the official start of NBA free agency. That doesn't stop the rumor mill, though. The most recent murmurings suggest the Los Angeles Clippers are interested in Rajon Rondo, fresh off a title with the Los Angeles Lakers and expected to decline his player option (when he can) to enter the free-agent pool.

From a basketball perspective, it makes sense. The Clippers could use Rondo's ability to engineer an offense and keep everyone in the right positions. For as good as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are, they aren't playmakers in a pure sense. Rondo is, even if he's well past his heyday. They wouldn't need him to do a lot. Just come off the bench and keep everything running smoothly while his star teammates rest, then pick up the intensity come playoff time like he did for their crosstown rivals in the bubble.

This union would also be great for lovers of basketball drama. Rondo is talented and, from all reports, was a great veteran presence for his Los Angeles team this year. He can also be rather abrasive, as his time with the Chicago Bulls proved. This Clippers team suffered from some internal strife during the season and throughout their time in the bubble. Armchair psychologists on Twitter would label them "mentally weak," which is a stretch for people who aren't in the locker room with them, but it is a reasonable assumption that the mesh of personalities did not exactly click last year.

His Bulls tenure was the last time Rondo was the alpha dog personality in a locker room. It went... poorly. When he joined the Lakers, he didn't have to be that because LeBron James was there as the undisputed leader and figurehead. If Rondo were to head across town and join the Clippers, he would become that alpha dog again. Leonard and George are not vocal leaders. 2020 represented the first time either of them had to really step up and lead a team. George was coming from Oklahoma City where Russell Westbrook ruled like a king and Leonard from Toronto where Kyle Lowry was the team's heart and soul. That isn't a knock against them. Not every player is meant to be that kind of leader in sports.

It does feel, from what we know of the emotional makeup of the Clippers, that throwing Rondo into the mix would create a ticking time bomb. How long would it take for Rondo to finally snap at George for the passiveness that can show up on the court? How will Lou Williams react to an angry Rondo snapping at him over a missed rotation? They didn't seem to handle adversity particularly well this season. Adding Rondo and his history of conflict to the mix seems like tossing a match onto the haystack.

Which is exactly why we should all want this to happen. THIS LEAGUE.