4:50pm: During a press conference today, Carlisle was asked if he expected Rondo to wear a Mavericks uniform again, to which the coach responded, “No, I don’t,” Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com tweets. The coach was also asked if he believed that he could coexist with Rondo in the future, to which Carlisle responded, “Absolutely. I like Rondo. My relationship with him was professional.”
8:59am: Rajon Rondo hasn’t given up on the Mavericks, but there’s strong momentum toward an “inevitable” departure for the Lakers in free agency this summer, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Rondo won’t return to Dallas as long as Rick Carlisle is the coach, sources told Wojnarowski, who suggests that the Mavs might not want the point guard back, anyway. In any case, no team is planning a maximum-salary offer for Rondo, whose value has been in decline since he suffered a torn ACL in January 2013, according to Wojnarowski.
Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com also uses the word “inevitable” to describe Rondo’s parting from the Mavericks. MacMahon reported earlier this month that the Bill Duffy client was expected to ask for more than the Mavs were willing to pay him, adding that the Mavs’ stance on the matter was subject to change if Rondo played well in the postseason. That hasn’t happened, as the Rockets outscored Dallas by 25 points with Rondo on the floor in Game 1, and Carlisle saw fit to have Rondo on the floor for fewer than 10 minutes in Game 2, as MacMahon points out. The Mavs played 11 men during the fourth quarter, but Rondo wasn’t one of them, notes Ben Golliver of SI.com (Twitter link). Chandler Parsons wasn’t one of them either, as he sat out with a knee injury from which he won’t return during the Rockets series, sources told Wojnarowski.
Reports indicated that the Rockets pushed to trade for Rondo almost until the Celtics sent him to the Mavs instead, but Duffy never wanted Rondo in Houston, since his presence would hinder fellow Duffy client Patrick Beverley‘s value, as Wojnarowski details. Still, the Rockets went after Rondo in an attempt to drive up the price for the Mavs, according to Wojnarowski. Rondo planned to sign a max deal with the Lakers prior to the trade, but afterward he became open to re-signing with Dallas, Wojnarowski writes. However, it now appears as though there’s little chance the point guard will re-sign with the Mavs. Kobe Bryant has made no secret of his desire to recruit Rondo to the Lakers, who’ve reportedly been likely to make a summer pursuit of the point guard since at least the beginning of the season.