Does Rondo turn off free agents considering Celtics?

Does Rondo turn off free agents considering Celtics?
July 17, 2014, 11:00 am

Dan Feldman, Pro Basketball Talk

Rajon Rondo has the ultimate support of Kevin Garnett.

Paul Pierce backs him, too.

But not everyone gets along with Rondo – and the list is apparently longer than just Ray Allen, whose feud with the Celtics point guard changed the Eastern Conference for years.

Replying to Jeff Clark of CelticsBlog, Jeff Goodman of ESPN reveals some illuminating information about how Rondo is viewed across the NBA.

Rondo can be prickly and hard-headed, which he admits. He once said of opponents, “We’re not trying to be friends with anybody.” I can definitely understand why the initial opinion of playing with him is unfavorable.

But if any free agents give it a second thought, the sentiment is ridiculous.

Rondo is a warrior on the court, fighting for every edge. So what he doesn’t like his opponents? If you sign with the Celtics, you’re his teammate now. He’s absolutely someone you want on your side.

His pass-first style gives those around him easier scoring looks, and his defensive effectiveness also puts his teammates in position to excel on that end of the court. Rondo’s game is extremely unselfish, which should turn on free agents.

Reading between the lines, maybe this is why Danny Ainge is so dogged in his pursuit of Kevin Love. When Love visited Boston – a transparent signal he’s interested in the Celtics – he spoke briefly with Rondo. Perhaps Love is an exception who wants to play with Rondo. That would help explain the theory Ainge wants Love and Rondo or neither.

If Boston can’t get Love, Rondo might be an impediment to other second stars.