BOSTON — Prior to Rajon Rondo's torn right ACL injury, he was widely considered one of the top five point guards in the NBA.
Today, he may not even be in the top 10.
There's little doubt that Rondo will be a better player next season as his legs continue to get stronger. But even with stronger wheels, Rondo will hard-pressed to regain a spot among the elite point guards in the NBA.
The first round of the playoffs was a coming out party of sorts for point guards such as Portland's Damian Lillard, Washington's John Wall, Memphis' Mike Conley and Atlanta's Jeff Teague.
They join an already crowded VIP club of playmakers that's led by Los Angeles Clippers Chris Paul, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook and Golden State's Stephen Curry.
And let's not forget about Brooklyn's Deron Williams, Cleveland's Kyrie Irving or San Antonio's Tony Parker who has been the best player for the Spurs the past couple of years.
Rondo's unclear status among his point guard brethren isn't that big a deal for the Boston Celtics. After all, they won a title in 2008 with him at the helm prior to his emergence as one of the game's best passers. But at that time, Rondo was a player on the rise with a long and tremendously bright future.
No one considers Rondo over the hill now that he's 28 years old, but the torn ACL injury has given many a reason to pause before anointing his return to top-5 point guard status.
Because of the uncertainty surrounding both Rondo's future and the Celtics in terms of building their roster, it's unlikely the two will get a deal done prior to him hitting free agency in the summer of 2015 unless he's willing to leave some money on the table in exchange for job security in the form of a long-term contract -- a scenario that seems highly unlikely.
So what do you think: Is Rondo still a top-10 point guard?
A. Sherrod Blakely serves as Comcast SportsNet's NBA Insider. Read more from Sherrod here, or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.
My answer is a definite NO!
It's pretty bad when the guy who covers the team says the dude is going by the wayside in the NBA, leg injury or no. Frankly, people here get all upset when I suggest Rondo walks when his contract is up because he'll want top dollar and DA won't give it to him and shouldn't give it to him based on what he brings to the team and that was before he wrecked his leg.
Rondo a top ten PG and staying with the Celtics? As the article puts it..."a scenario that seems highly unlikely."