By no means does anyone wish an injury upon a player, but the news of his torn ACL is no more devastating to anyone else than to Rajon Rondo and Boston Celtics.
Having already struggled this season to find that competitive edge the NBA and its fans are used to seeing from them, the Celtics' playoff hopes will take a sincere hit in the absence on Rondo. The team now faces the dilemma of figuring out whether or not to blow up the team and rebuild in order to acquire young talent and assets for the future. Will Boston opt to look ahead, or will the front office (in hindsight) blame this season's ongoing struggles solely on Rondo's injury, and simply hope for a promising fresh start at contention again next season?
In any event, as the Celtics are forced to ponder making a determination for their future plans, Rondo's minutes are sure to be absorbed by someone right away. Will the team look to distribute the playing time in house, opting to play combo guards Avery Bradley and Jason Terry more at point guard? It's unknown immediately whether Boston will solve its floor general dilemma within, or look to acquire someone from the outside instead.
Should Boston look into sign a free agent to minimize their woes, there are plenty of young point guard hopefuls gunning for a shot in The Association in the D-League right now. Of course, some of those very options include players like former Celtic and NBA vet Delonte West, as well as the L.A. D-Fenders' own Courtney Fortson, who has been turning heads by displaying an ability to fill it up offensively and pour in the points. Donald Sloan recently led the Skyforce to a four game winning streak after hitting the NBADL hardwood following two NBA stints of his own.
Despite each one's popularity and ability to score the basketball, there are a couple of other players who may indeed suit the Celtics' style of play (and fill the void of Rondo) a bit more efficiently.
The first of these potential fill-ins would have to be Chris Wright. He has been steadily putting forth a strong effort as playmaker all season long for the Energy. A young man with solid court vision, Wright's 7.4 assists per game lead all point guards who have spent the full duration of the season in the D-League thus far. What's more, at 210 points, the guard's stocky build for a floor general helps him contain his opponents defensively. His hounding nature on that side of the floor has given way to an also impressive 1.8 steals per game average as well.
Looking at some others, one player a bit under the radar for the Celtics to consider would be Sean Singletary. Already owning previous big league experience with teams like the 76ers and Suns, this point guard is quite the intriguing option for Boston's situation. In addition to being a natural distributor himself, Singletary has shown an unique ability to play alongside fellow floor generals and combo guards. From Mike James, to Matt Dickey, and soon West, the Texas Legends have paired Singletary up in their backcourt with a smaller guard almost all season long.
Lucky for him, Singeltary knows how and when to command control of an offense, but can also run and keep it moving without the ball nicely when his backcourt mate runs the show. He could be a nice fit alongside the likes of Terry and/or Bradley.
Both players would serve as more than capable candidates to eat up some minutes in Boston, but the fact is there are abundant options all around. Queens, New York native Scott Machado is currently a free agent, despite having played well while on assignment with the RGV Vipers from the Rockets. The young gun averaged 12 points and 7.1 assists through 11 contests before getting released following the new year. Since then, Machado has returned home and has recently been seen working out with fellow RidiculousUpside.com favorite Brian Kortovich.
Though he may not have been able to stick around in Houston, Machado is as selfless as they come with regard to a point guard. He'll have another chance in the NBA soon enough. Could his next shot come in Boston?
Nevertheless, it's clear that the Celtics have some decisions to make in wake of the news that Rondo will be sidelined for the rest of the year. Needless to say, there are plenty of NBADL players chomping at the bit to try filling his shoes.